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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Things to Do When It's Raining

1. What does “family” mean to you? Is family something you’re born into or something you can create?

2. Describe the relationship Mae and her fiancé, Peter, had. Do you believe he ever loved her? What does Mae learn from their interactions?

3. The St. Lawrence River is a character in and of itself in this novel. How would you describe its role in the story and its effect on the various characters?

4. Do you think it’s possible for teenage sweethearts to pick up where they left off? How do time and maturity change our outlook on life and our relationships with others?

5. What role do love and jealousy play in the novel?

6. Gabe comes from a family that has a legacy of alcoholism and abuse. How does he view himself in light of that? Do you think that makes him a different person than he might otherwise have been? How does his past affect the decisions he makes?

7. Lilly hurt George by accidentally revealing the truth about Virginia’s paternity. What would you have done in George’s situation? Was Lilly was right to have hidden the truth from him all these years?

8. Lilly’s actions have an enormous effect on her granddaughter’s life. In your opinion, were those actions justified? Why do you think she tells Gabe “Mae is not for you”? How much regret do you believe she feels and in what ways does that regret change her?

9. Why does George befriend Jonah so late in both their lives? Do they have anything in common besides their shared family history? What influence, if any, do they have on each other?

10. Does Mae’s character change as the story progresses? If so, how?

11. Do you agree with Gabe’s decision not to tell George about Lilly’s lie? Why or why not? What would you have done in the same situation?

12. In your opinion, why does Gabe hold himself responsible for the deaths of Mae’s parents?

Things to Do When It's Raining
by Marissa Stapley

  • Publication Date: February 6, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Women's Fiction
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Graydon House
  • ISBN-10: 1525899015
  • ISBN-13: 9781525899010