Someone Else's Love Story (Hardcover)

By Joshilyn Jackson

William Morrow & Company, 9780062105653, 300pp.

Publication Date: November 19, 2013

December 2013 Indie Next List

“Jackson is a phenomenal novelist, whose feisty, unforgettable characters wrestle their way through complicated lives with grit and good humor, while she takes readers on a wild, nail-biting, and thoroughly enjoyable ride. With rich dialogue, vivid scene-setting, edge-of-your-seat plotting, and one-of-a-kind characters, Jackson's novels entertain thoroughly and stay on your mind long after you have turned the last page. In Someone Else's Love Story, a chance encounter during a convenience store robbery shakes up a number of lives. Assumptions about relationships -- with family, friends, lovers, and perceived enemies -- are shattered, and something new and surprising emerges. I loved this book!”
— Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI
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Description

Someone Else's Love Story is beloved and highly acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson's funny, charming, and poignant novel about science and miracles, secrets and truths, faith and forgiveness; about falling in love, and learning that things aren't always what they seem--or what we hope they will be.

Shandi Pierce is juggling finishing college, raising her delightful three-year-old genius son Nathan, aka Natty Bumppo, and keeping the peace between her eternally warring, long-divorced parents. She's got enough complications without getting caught in the middle of a stick-up and falling in love with William Ashe, who willingly steps between the robber and her son.

Shandi doesn't know that her blond god Thor has his own complications. When he looked down the barrel of that gun he believed it was destiny: It's been one year to the day since a tragic act of physics shattered his world. But William doesn't define destiny the way others do. A brilliant geneticist who believes in facts and numbers, destiny to him is about choice. Now, he and Shandi are about to meet their so-called destinies head on, making choices that will reveal unexpected truths about love, life, and the world they think they know.



Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

  1. What does the title tell you about the story? What do we learn from the first line? How does the book's opening set the stage for the events that follow?
  2. “That afternoon in the Circle K, I deserved to know, right off, that I had landed bang in the middle of a love story. Especially since it wasn’t--- it isn’t--- it could never be, my own. ” Why could this story never be Shandi's? If it’s not hers, than whose love story is it?
  3. Everyone sees William as a hero for his acts during the robbery. How does William answer this? Would you call it brave?Why did Shandi have such faith that William would save them?
  4. Destiny and choice are major themes in the novel. What does destiny mean to William?What about Shandi?
  5. Shandi and Walcott have known each other forever. Discuss their relationship. How is it transformed? Why do we often miss the obvious in our lives?
  6. How do the religious references sprinkled through the story--Natty's virgin birth for example--add a deeper level of flavor and meaning to the book?
  7. Why is William angry with Bridget and not her "imaginary God"? When bad things happen most people blame God. Why? Why doesn't William?
  8. How does their meeting change both William and Shandi? Would you call their meeting fate or destiny or maybe a miracle? “It isn't every day he meets a girl who killed a miracle,” William thinks when he agrees to help Shandi. Why does her having "killed" a miracle so intrigue him?
  9. How do each of these characters' certainties and beliefs change when they are confronted by unexpected circumstances--the robbery, the fireworks, the DNA results, meeting Natty's father for example?
  10. The possibility of goodness and forgiveness are also themes in the book. Talk about how they are demonstrated in various characters' lives and experiences.
  11. How many different kind of love stories are in the book? How do they all intertwine?
  12. We're you surprised at the ending? Was it exactly what should happen for all the characters?
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