Time of My Life
by Allison Winn Scotch
Three Rivers Press
Jillian Westfield has the perfect suburban life straight out of the upscale women’s magazines that she obsessively reads. She’s got the modern-print rugs of Metropolitan Home, the elegant meals from Gourmet, the clutter-free closets out of Real Simple, and the elaborate Easter egg hunts seen in Parents. With her successful investment-banker husband behind the wheel and her cherubic eighteen-month-old in the backseat, hers could be the family in the magazines’ glossy Range Rover ads. Yet somehow all of the how-to magazine stories in the world can’t seem to fix her faltering marriage, banish the tedium of days spent changing diapers, or stop her from asking, “What if?”
Then one morning Jillian wakes up seven years in the past. Before her daughter was born. Before she married Henry. Armed with twenty-twenty hindsight, she’s free to choose all over again. Sharp, funny, and heartwarming, Time of My Life will appeal to anyone who has ever wanted to redo the past and will leave readers pondering, “Do we get the reality we deserve?”
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1. What are some of the similarities between Jillianís situation and that of her boss Josie? What could Jillian learn from watching Josie?
2. Jillian discovers a lot about herself by watching Megan and Josie cope with their various problems. How did these friendships offer her clarity on her situation? What do you learn from your own friends when encountering lifeís problems?
3. Motherhood proves more challenging for Jillian than she anticipated, and she laments that no one talks about how hard it can be. Are women these days opening up to all of the realities of motherhood, not just the wonderful parts of it? If so, why do you think that is?
4. If Jillianís mother hadnít left the family, would Jillianís life and perception of herself have been different? If so, in what ways? If not, why not?
5. Both Jillian and her mom seem fated to make the same mistakes over and over. Are we fated to make the same mistakes repeatedly in life, and if so, how do you break the cycle?
6. All of the women in this story struggle to find balance between their various roles in life. Do any of them manage this better than the others? How so? Can that perfect balance be achieved?
7. Was anyone at fault in the breakdown of Henry and Jillianís marriage? What about in the breakdown of Jack and Jillianís relationship?
8. Do you think Henry and Jillian end up happy in the long run? What about Megan and Tyler? Josie and Art? What do you think happens to Jack?
9. As you were reading the book, did you want Jillian to end up with Jack or Henry? Or neither?
10. When Jillian goes back in time, she realizes that her memory of events may not be as clear as she thought. What does Jillian gain by looking clearly at the reality of events? Do you think youíve ever skewed the past, for better or worse, to help you deal with the present?
11. Jillian has the chance to go back in time and see what would have happened if she had taken another direction in her life. How would your life be different if you had taken a different route? Do you ever wonder ďWhat if?Ē and think about what might have been?
12. Regardless of which fork in the road you take, do you ultimately end up in the same place even if it takes longer to get there?
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"Scotch's novel is a clever, entertaining look at the compromises women make - and the dangers of getting what you asked for."
"After this hilarious read, you may just return to your crazy-busy routine a little happier."
"Perfect to read with friends. A book we love... The kind of unputdownable book you'll really hope gets made into a movie."
"[Jillian] is easy to understand, a woman trying to figure out who she is and what she wants to do with her life. Scotch is a fluent, spirited writer."