by Mary Kay Andrews
St. Martin's Griffin
Annajane Hudgens truly believes she is over her ex-husband, Mason Bayless. They’ve been divorced for four years, she’s engaged to a new, terrific guy, and she’s ready to leave the small town where she and Mason had so much history. She is so over Mason that she has absolutely no problem attending his wedding to the beautiful, intelligent, delightful Celia. But when fate intervenes and the wedding is called to a halt as the bride is literally walking down the aisle, Annajane begins to realize that maybe she’s been given a second chance. Maybe everything happens for a reason. And maybe, just maybe, she wants Mason back. But there are secrets afoot in this small southern town. On the peaceful surface of Hideaway Lake, Annajane discovers that the past is never really gone. Even if there are people determined to keep Annajane from getting what she wants, happiness might be hers for the taking, and the life she once had with Mason in this sleepy lake town might be in her future.
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1. The book opens with Annajane attending the wedding of her ex-husband. Do you have any exes with whom you have maintained a relationship? Have you ever successfully rekindled a relationship you thought was long dead? Could you attend the wedding of an ex? Discuss potential gift ideas.
2. Annajane was never accepted by Mason’s mother, though Sallie seemed to take to Celia right away. How do you explain Sallie’s rejection of one and acceptance of the other? What does Sallie have in common with each?
3. Ruth Hudgens made her distaste of the Baylesses clear from when Annajane was a child and first befriended Pokey—even going so far as not to allow Quixie in her house. How did your interpretation of Ruth’s ties to the Baylesses evolve over the course of the novel? Have you ever had a friend that your mother didn’t approve of? How did you manage the situation?
4. Discuss the significance that the lake house at Cherry Hill held for Annajane and Mason. What parallels do you see between the house and the way it was tended to and Annajane’s relationship with Mason?
5. Annajane assumed that Mason had been unfaithful once she discovered the mix tape in his car. In your gut did you feel she was correct in this assumption or did you think she jumped to conclusions? Discuss the ways that their first marriage fell apart and how it could have been different. Who was at fault and how?
6. Mason and Davis are quite different despite being brothers close in age. How do you account for their different personalities and approaches to life and business? Does each man get what he deserves?
7. Do you think Glenn redeemed himself as a husband and a father? In the end, were you sympathetic to him as a person? Why or why not?
8. Quixie’s survival as a family-owned company was in peril at certain points in the novel. Would you have been tempted to sell? How does Quixie exemplify our current economic issues? Discuss examples of the struggles faced by local businesses and the responsibilities that companies have to their employees and the towns where they are based.
9. What were Celia’s motivations when it came to Quixie? To the Bayless men? Imagine and discuss Celia’s future with Davis and the rest of the Bayless family.
10. What role does Sophie play in Mason and Annajane’s relationship and how does her role evolve as the novel develops? If you were in Annajane’s shoes, how do you think you would have reacted to Sophie at first? Sophie’s favorite book is Runaway Bunny. What parallels do you see between that children’s book and Sophie’s own life? Mason and Annajane’s relationship?
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