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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Secret of Snow

1. Many of the memories and traditions I share in THE SECRET OF SNOW are inspired by my own life. What are your favorite holiday traditions? Why? What memories do they conjure?

2. What are your favorite winter activities? Why?

3. Do you like winter? What does this season mean to you?

4. A major theme of THE SECRET OF SNOW is loss. Has the loss of someone in your life affected the way you celebrate the holidays, which can often amplify our feelings of loneliness and sadness?

5. How have you coped with loss? Or not coped with loss? How? Why? Discuss.

6. Sonny and her mother (my mother, by the way, was a hospice nurse in real life!) have a wonderfully complicated relationship. They love one another deeply, but the pain they’ve experienced has made Sonny build a wall around her heart. What is or was your relationship with your mother like? What made it that way?

7. Sonny and Lisa are what we term today as “frenemies.” Have you ever had a frenemy? How did they hurt you? Or how did you hurt them? Did you ever repair your friendship? How?

8. If I weren’t an author, I always fancied I might be a meteorologist like Sonny, as I’m obsessed with the weather. (In fact, some of my dear friends are meteorologists.) What would you have done if you were not doing what you’re doing now?

9. Do you believe women are treated differently than men in the workplace, especially women “of a certain age” like Sonny? Why or why not?

10. Do you believe we treat women in the media (celebrities, TV personalities) differently than we treat men? Do we judge them more harshly based solely on their appearance? Discuss.

11. Mason lost his wife to depression. I lost a dear friend in college to depression and suicide. Do you know anyone battling depression, or someone who has taken his/her own life? How did you try to help? How did that impact you?

12. People either love or hate snow in the winter. What do you think of snow?

13. Have you or a friend ever experienced a “later-in-life” romance like Sonny and Mason?

14. Have you ever been to Michigan or Palm Springs? What are your thoughts on these two beautiful locations (can you tell I’m biased)?

The Secret of Snow
by Viola Shipman

  • Publication Date: October 26, 2021
  • Genres: Fiction, Women's Fiction
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Graydon House
  • ISBN-10: 1525806440
  • ISBN-13: 9781525806445