Skip to main content

Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Tempting Fate

1. Let’s start with the title of this novel. What does it mean to, quote, tempt fate? What did fate have in store for Gabby? Do you “believe” in fate? You may choose to define the term as a group, both within and beyond the world of the novel.

2. When we first meet Gabby she is feeling self-conscious about going out with the “girls.” She feels old, unattractive, irrelevant. Do you feel her “condition” is a cliché of middle age, or does her dissatisfaction go deeper? Do you like Gabby once you better understood her needs, her history, her struggles? Or are you judgmental?

3. And then there’s Matt. Were you surprised by his actions and, ultimately, the affair? Take a moment to discuss his attraction to Gabby. What was he looking for, really? How was he tempting fate by falling in love with an older, married woman?

4. Take a moment to talk about love and romance in TEMPTING FATE. Do Gabby and Elliott have “true” love? What is true love, both in your personal opinion and/or experience and for each of the main characters in the novel? Do Claire and her husband have it? What about Trish and Elliott?

5. Is there such a thing as right or wrong with matters of the heart? 

6. Gabby realizes the mistake she’s made once she assesses the damage she’s done to her family. Do you sympathize with her? How did you react to Elliott’s reaction, and her daughters’? Did you find Jane Green’s portrayal of this family realistic? Which episodes (or even words) were most meaningful, or recognizable, to you? 

7. TEMPTING FATE employs a unique narrative in which Matt’s character comes to life in a series of texts or emails. Did you feel, in the end, that you knew him? Liked him? Does it matter, either way? Moreover, how do you envision his role in his son’s life? And --- just for fun! --- do you think that will he and Monroe will stand the test of time? 

8. How we talk about books --- in or outside of book clubs --- is almost as engaging as reading the books themselves. What would you say about TEMPTING FATE to someone who has not yet read it? Is it a love story? A family drama? A cautionary tale? All or none of the above? Would you recommend it to a friend, fellow parent or loved one? Why or why not? 

9. Why do we feel the need to share our feelings about books with other readers? Also, who in the group recommended you read TEMPTING FATE in the first place? Take a moment to discuss what your expectations were in choosing this novel. Have you read Jane Green’s other novels? You may choose to talk about the themes that run through her work at this time as well.

10. Did you have a sixth sense about how TEMPTING FATE would end? Were you gratified or disappointed by how things turned out? Do you “believe” in happy endings, generally speaking? Feel free to suggest alternate endings, if you wish.

Tempting Fate
by Jane Green

  • Publication Date: November 4, 2014
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
  • ISBN-10: 0312604181
  • ISBN-13: 9780312604189