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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Saving Grace

1. Grace’s complex relationship with her mother has a profound influence on the relationships she goes on to cultivate throughout her life. How is Grace’s relationship with and reaction to Ted influenced by that which she had with her mother? In what was are her relationships with Ted and her mother similar? In addition, how has Grace’s guilt over the circumstances of her mother’s death influenced her relationships, including those she has with Beth as well as the women at Harmont House?

2. Did you find anything about Beth to be suspicious at first? If you were Grace, at what point would you begin to suspect that something was not quite right about Beth and/or her motives?

3. Grace has lived her life propelled by the belief that, “If she just keeps running and running, keeps being the perfect wife, mother, cook, the past will surely disappear.”  Why does this ultimately not work? What does Grace come to realize about her goal of perfecting the illusion so that “her secrets will recede?”

4. Where in the story do we see examples of how cooking has served as a sort of sanctuary for Grace throughout her life? Do you have something in your own life that plays a similar role?

5. What manipulative tactics does Beth use to reel in Ted and Grace? How does she take advantage of their weaknesses?

6. Women are known for our intuition, that little voice that tells you when something is wrong, and we like to think that as we grow older, we learn to listen to it. Do you think intuition increases or decreases as we get older? Do you find that you are relying on your intuition more or less? In what circumstances have you let your head overrule those feelings, and then been proven right?

7. Grace repeatedly has a feeling or an instinct that things are off --- for example with Beth and later with Dr. Ellery’s diagnosis. Where do we see examples of this? What factors in both Grace’s present and past have caused her to mistrust, question or ignore her instincts?

8. As it relates to heath, should you trust your intuition or the facts as presented by doctors? Should you research your own health issues and inform yourself as much as possible or is too much information a dangerous thing? 

9. Grace notes the differences in the treatment and view of medicine by society in the United States versus in England. How does the position of power and authority associated with a medical degree affect Grace’s experience with Dr. Frank Ellery?

10. When Lydia asks Grace what it is that she wants, Grace tells her that she wants her life back the way it was before, including Ted. What was your reaction to this? If you were in Grace’s shoes would you have said the same thing? If not, how would you have responded?

11. How did you react to the scene at Ted’s reading when Grace first encounters Beth after returning from England? What would you have said to Beth? 

12. How did you react to the ending of the novel? What do you imagine the future holds for Beth? What about for Grace and also for Ted?

Jane Green is available for Skype chats with book groups. Contact her here.

Saving Grace
by Jane Green

  • Publication Date: June 9, 2015
  • Genres: Fiction, Women's Fiction
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
  • ISBN-10: 1250047390
  • ISBN-13: 9781250047397