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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Expiration Dates

1. When we first learn about Daphne’s slips of paper, she says, “Something else has always called the shots in my life --- call it the universe, fate, the comedic force of timing.” How does this set up the conversation about destiny versus choice throughout the novel?

2. In chapter 4, Daphne says, “But I still wanted forever love. I still wanted my perfect mate, my smiling husband. I’d picture the white tulle dress and the lace veil and a man who was kind and attractive and who my parents loved, because why not.” How is Daphne’s description of her perfect man different at the end of the novel?

3. How does Daphne dating Jake differ from the versions of her with previous men? How does she change over the course of their relationship and for what reasons?

4. Hugo is one of the most important people in Daphne’s life. How does their relationship change over the course of the novel, and how does Hugo contribute to Daphne’s understanding of happiness for herself?

5. When Jake asks Daphne to move in with him, what does Daphne’s reaction tell us about what this next step in the relationship means for her? What are the factors that make her want to say yes, or say no?

6. There’s a major twist in the novel regarding Daphne’s health. Why do you think the author decided to introduce the twist where she did, and how does it contribute to the larger message of the novel?

7. Why do you think Daphne felt she had to keep her health condition and her slips of paper a secret? Why does she ultimately decide to divulge that information?

8. In chapter 25, after Hugo, Jake and Daphne have dinner together, Jake says, “I feel for him, Daphne… It’s not his fault he’s still in love with you.” What was your reaction to that scene?

9. Similarly to Daphne, Jake brings his own history and baggage into their relationship. How does Jake’s past affect his relationship with Daphne?

10. We discover toward the end of the novel that Hugo wrote Jake’s note, starting Daphne and Jake’s relationship. Why do you think Hugo did what he did, and how does it speak to the core question of destiny versus choice at the heart of the novel?

11. Sense of environment is a major theme in many Rebecca Serle novels, and this time she set the novel in Los Angeles. What parts of LA came alive for you, and how was the story enriched by this setting?

12. Were you surprised that Jake and Daphne did not end up together? What do you think this means for Daphne’s journey and her resolution at the end of the book?

13. One of the last lines of the novel reads, “Goodbye, I think, although that is not the right word. What I mean is something else, something that is not possible to convey in a singular expression. Something that is not at all an ending.” What do you think Daphne means by this?

Expiration Dates
by Rebecca Serle

  • Publication Date: March 19, 2024
  • Genres: Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • ISBN-10: 1982166827
  • ISBN-13: 9781982166823