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The Love of My Life Reader’s Guide

By Rosie Walsh

The Love of My Life by Rosie Walsh


Questions and Topics for Discussion

1. In Emma and Leo we initially see a devoted couple with a deep and seemingly genuine connection. To what extent do you believe it is possible for a happy relationship to be founded on colossal untruths? Is it possible to love someone and not really know who they are?

2. This novel features betrayal, deceptions, and outright lies. Whose actions—or inactions—do you think were the most harmful, and why?

3. Emma’s postpartum psychosis places her in an extremely vulnerable position, which allows Janice to make a decision that changes the course of several lives. What do you think pushed Janice to make such a choice? Discuss.

4. Leo decides he wants to be with Emma even once he learns the full truth, despite her deceptions. Would you have made the same choice? Why or why not?

5. At times Leo tends to put Emma on a pedestal. But when the truth finally comes out, she says to him, “Life made sense again, when I met you, Leo. I remembered why people wanted to live.” Do you think he has ever believed she loves and needs him every bit as much he loves and needs her? 

6. The moment at which Emma finally meets her adult son is one of the most charged of her life, a longed-for event she had all but given up on. How do you think mother and son handle this moment? Do you feel hopeful for their emerging relationship at the end of the novel?

7. The crab Emma seeks throughout her career proves elusive until the very end. Do you think this is a metaphor? If so, for what?

8. The title of the book—The Love of My Life—implies that Emma has only one true love, but her circumstances throughout the novel indicate something very different. Who do you think is the “real” love of her life, or is there more than one?

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