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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Lucky Me: A Novel

1. Dr. Bob tells Julie that it's okay to keep secrets in therapy–a concept that surprises and relieves her. What thoughts is she happy to keep hidden from the doctor? What secrets does Julie keep in her life outside of therapy? What role do secrets have in the book?

2. What inspires Julie to write? How do you make sense of her writer's block as she tries and fails to complete a compelling Essay #4? What lets her eventually break through it?

3. For moral support and help hashing out her family problems, Julie calls on friends, her husband, Eric, and her therapist. Discuss how each of these resources helps her handle stress. Do you think one outlet is more effective than the others? What other coping mechanisms does Julie have for handling stress?

4. Discuss Amy's and Estelle's taste in literature. What does their love for romance novels say about them? Do you think there is more to Julie's dislike of cheap romance than elevated literary taste?

5. One of Julie's fears is that Eric will see beyond her calm, domestic facade to reveal the less-moral coed with low self-esteem. How do you think Eric would react if more of Julie's history were revealed to him? Do you think he already knows or forgives more than she suggests?

6. What does Estelle's insistence that her illness remain quiet and private say about her as a character? Do you think it would have been easier on Julie if she had agreed to treatment?

7. Julie's parenting style is in many ways a reaction to what she sees as failings in her own parents, but she does come to understand and respect some aspects of Estelle and Sol's relationship. Discuss what Julie admires about her parents' marriage. Does their peaceful coexistence and loving, if quirky, behavior influence any of the decisions she makes during the course of the story? How?

8. Why does Julie go with Ted to the writers' conference? What does she expect will happen? Do you think she's surprised by Ted's kiss?

9. At Passover dinner, Julie is secretly grateful for the chaos that ensues–but how much of it is she responsible for?

10. What do you think of Julie's priorities? Are there times you are surprised by her focusing on one area of her life instead of another?

11. What do you expect Julie and Ted's working relationship will be like? Do you trust his assurance that his romantic feelings for her and his interest in her for the job are completely separate? Given her feelings about her family at the end of the book, how do you think she would respond if Ted were to renew his amorous attentions?

12. Discuss why "passing Roscoe" sometimes succeeds as a funny family joke and sometimes falls flat. Does Julie misunderstand its meaning?

13. Dr. Bob encourages Julie to "conceptualize" her goals–a serious request that she deflects with a joke about needing to renovate her home. What are her therapy goals? Does she meet them?

Lucky Me: A Novel
by Debra Borden

  • Publication Date: July 12, 2005
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Shaye Areheart Books
  • ISBN-10: 1400082218
  • ISBN-13: 9781400082216