Readers Guide I Was Told It Would Get Easier
by Abbi Waxman
Questions for Discussion
1. At the beginning of the book, Jessica and Emily don’t have a very good connection, not because they don’t love each other but because they’ve slowly grown apart. What’s the difference between experiencing that kind of relationship damage compared to, say, a sudden breakup?
2. Jessica is a single parent by choice and a working mother. What cultural assumptions are made about both of those groups, and how do those assumptions affect Jessica’s opinion of herself?
3. Jessica talks about the differences between parenting younger children and teenagers. Do her experiences match up with your own?
4. Emily is a very independent young woman. What impact do you think Jessica’s parenting had on Emily?
5. Emily often compares herself to other young people and finds herself wanting. What strengths do you see in her character that she may not be able to see in herself?
6. Emily talks about the pressure on young people to be perfect in every way. How has that pressure changed over time, and why does it feel particularly hard to be young these days?
7. Jessica talks about the pressure on parents to be seen as “good at” parenting, as reflected in their children’s success. Is this something new, or has it always been an issue?
8. As the tour progresses, both Jessica and Emily learn new things about each other. How does travel impact the way we see other people?
9. Towards the end of the novel, Jessica reflects that maybe she’ll be a better parent once Emily is older. How has your relationship with your parents changed over time and, if you have children, once you yourself became a parent?
10. Ultimately Emily and Jessica are both changed by this trip. Have you ever taken a trip that had an unexpected personal outcome?