1. Have you traveled out of the country before? What are some of the cultural differences you encountered?
2. When Vivian begins to spend time with Malcolm, she tries to stifle her joy and the butterflies in her stomach. She tends to talk herself down, thinking she’s “too old” to be feeling giddy over a love interest. Have you ever felt an expectation to behave a certain way due to your age, whether you felt too young or too old?
3. Vivian and Malcolm both excel in their chosen jobs and could serve as role models for others aspiring to those professions. Do you have a role model or mentor in the workplace who you admire and inspires you?
4. Have you ever felt the pressure to accept a job offer even though you didn’t truly want it? What affects your decision-making process when choosing a job (money, work/life balance, etc.)?
5. Malcolm’s nephew, Miles, wishes to go to art school, but his family is against him doing so. Do you think he should enroll at the art school anyway or heed his family’s guidance and attend Oxford as planned? Who do you think is right in this situation?
6. Vivian makes pro/con lists to help her decide what to do in difficult situations. What method do you use to make hard decisions?
7. Vivian and Malcolm bring out the best in each other, but they also have their own flaws that neither understands at first. What are the positive ways in which they acted in order to move forward, and what could they have done to avoid the many hours of tension?
8. Vivian and Malcolm use snail mail to communicate, forgoing the instant gratification of technology. Do you think you could do this for regular communication? When is the last time you wrote and mailed a letter or postcard for fun?
9. Malcolm makes a big change for Vivian at the end of the book. Do you think you would have done the same for your significant other?