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The Ones Who Matter Most Reader’s Guide

By Rachael Herron

The Ones Who Matter Most by Rachael Herron


Questions for Discussion

1. What role does Kathryn play in Abby’s life? How has she helped shape Abby’s life trajectory?

2. Do you think Abby will be able to carry this pregnancy to full term? What echoes do her past miscarriages present in her current life?

3. “Chosen family” is a theme of The Ones Who Matter Most. What other themes do you see in this novel?

4. How has Abby changed by the end of the novel? Is it for the better? How do her decisions as the book progresses affect this change?

5. Same question for Fern: How has she changed? Is it for the better? Is life pushing her? Is she pushing life back?

6. Fern thinks of herself as stubbornly independent and actively wants Scott to stay out of her and Matty’s life, yet she’s been taking checks
from him since he left. Is this a contradiction? Why or why not?

7. Matty learns several skills through the course of his science project. What’s the most important thing he learns? What will serve him the best
as he grows up?

8. What do you think Matty will be like at sixteen? At twenty-five? At forty?

9. When Scott left Fern and Matty, his father, Wyatt, chose the ones left behind. Do you think he made the right decision? Why?

10. Estamos completos: “We are complete.” Is there a complete family by the close of this novel? Is this something a family can truly attain, or is it a dream on Fern’s part?

11. Is most of your family related to you by blood or by choice? Of course you wish for health and happiness for your family, but what else do you wish for the ones who matter most to you?
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