Seven Year Switch (Hardcover)

By Claire Cook

Hyperion, 9781401341169, 256pp.

Publication Date: June 1, 2010

June 2010 Indie Next List

“When you finish this delightful story you will want to grab your girlfriends, let your hair down, and call for a margarita! They say every seven years you reinvent yourself, and Jill Murray is ready to do just that. But first she must juggle two jobs, her 10-year-old daughter, an ex-husband, and an intriguing bike-riding entrepreneur. Get ready to laugh from the first page to the last.”
— Karin Beyer, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI
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Description

A high-spirited novel from the bestselling author of Must Love Dogs and Life's a Beach that will have you planning a girlfriend getaway in no time!

Just when Jill Murray's finally figured out how to manage on her own, her ex-husband proves that he can't even run away reliably. After seven long years missing in action, he's back--crashing into the man-free existence Jill and her ten-year-old daughter have built so carefully. And what's a good mother to do? To a child, even a deadbeat dad is better than no dad at all.

Jill's life just hasn't turned out quite the way she planned. By now, she'd hoped to be jetting around the world as a high-end cultural coach. Instead, she's answering phones for a local travel agency and teaching cooking classes at the community center.

Enter free-spirited entrepreneur Billy, who hires Jill as a consultant for an upcoming business trip. Is their relationship veering off in a new direction And what about her ex Jill couldn't possibly still have feelings for him . . . could she? Suddenly, her no-boys-allowed life is anything but.

They say that every seven years you become a completely new person, but Jill isn't sure she's ready for the big change. It takes a Costa Rican getaway to help her make a choice--not so much between the two men in her life, but between the woman she is and the one she wants to be.



About the Author

Claire Cook is the best-selling author of the novels The Wildwater Walking Club, Summer Blowout, Life's a Beach, Must Love Dogs, Ready to Fall, and Multiple Choice. Formerly a teacher of physical fitness and creative writing, she has also had stints as a copywriter, radio continuity director, garden designer, dance and aerobics choreographer. She lives in Scituate, Massachusetts, often called the Irish Riviera, with her family.


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

  1. Jill Murray’s entire life revolves around her daughter Anastasia. Do you think she has any regrets about the life/career she might have missed?
  2. Just when Jill is finally figuring out how to make it on her own, her ex-husband shows up again. Do you think Jill had a choice about whether or not to let him back into her life?
  3. Reinvention is clearly a theme in all seven of Claire Cook’s novels. How does Jill reinvent herself during the course of the novel? What triggers these changes?
  4. There’s a theory that every seven years you become a completely different person. Do you think that’s true? When are you due for your next seven year switch? How will you change?
  5. Joni is not just Jill’s boss, but her mentor and friend. Has there ever been a Joni in your own life? Have you ever taken on Joni’s role?
  6. Even though Cynthia drives Jill crazy, Jill also admits she kind of wants to be her and even thinks she’d do a better job of it. Is there a Cynthia in your neighborhood? Do you feel that same ambivalence about her?
  7. How are Seth and Billy alike? Different? How much of Jill’s growth has to do with whether or not she ends up with either of them, or with any guy at all?
  8. Jill’s life didn’t turn out quite the way she planned. Do you feel that way about your own life? Do you think almost everyone does, to some degree?
  9. In many ways, Jill is stuck. Do you think she projects her fears about moving forward in her own life onto her ten-year-old daughter, Anastasia? Do you think some of this is the result of being a single mom, or do all mothers do this?
  10.  How important is it for Jill to go on a girlfriend getaway of her own? How important is it for you? Okay, so where are you going and when?
  11. The Passport to Your Next Chapter at the end of the book shifts the focus from the fictional world of the novel to the reader’s own life. Which of these seven simple steps inspired you? Surprised you?
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