The Friends We Keep by Jane Green Questions for Discussion
1. The novel opens with Ben’s point of view, and we see that he wants to change for the better. Do you think there could have been redemption for him, or was it far too late at that point?
2. One of the inspirations behind the story was the author’s realization that many women are leading lives far more isolated than they ever anticipated. Is this true for you, and if so, why?
3. Evvie commits an act of betrayal against Maggie, but Maggie is able to forgive her in the end. Do you think you could forgive Evvie? Why do you think Maggie can? What would you have done in Maggie’s position? In Evvie’s position?
4. Have you ever lost touch with your old and close friends and then seen them again? What did that feel like? How did time change—or not change—your relationships?
5. If you haven’t gotten in touch with old friends, why haven’t you? Do you want to do it? Or are you glad you haven’t?
6. Is a shared history enough to sustain a real friendship? What are the elements required of a true friend?
7. The story is told through the points of view of Evvie, Maggie, and Topher. Do these different perspectives allow you to sympathize with each of the characters despite their flaws? Who can you relate to the most?
8. Evvie has a history of being around men who are abusive, both emotionally and physically. Is it possible for her to break the pattern to find a good partner, and if so, how? What about Maggie? Do you think Topher will find love in the end too?
9. If you were in Jack’s position, how do you think you’d feel after finding out the truth? Would you have behaved the way Jack did? Why and why not?
10. Topher, Maggie, and Evvie decide to move in together after the ordeals they’ve all endured. As they continue to live together, what do you think the dynamic will be like, especially with Evvie and Maggie going into business together? Do you think they’ll always live together or separate again someday?