Reading Group Guide
1. New Bern was the original setting for the novel, The Notebook, and is revisited again in The Wedding. In The Notebook, the setting itself was almost a character. Was New Bern a "character" in The Wedding? How strong was the sense of place? Should more have been added to the story about the town? Why or why not?
2. Wilson is unlike any other character Nicholas has created. In what ways is Wilson different than the male protagonists in Nicholas's other novels? Did Wilson seem more or less real than typical fictional characters? Wilson admits that he hasn't been the kind of husband Jane needed, or even the best father he could have been. Yet, he also admits that he only came to understand these things when he realized he might lose Jane. Is this realistic? Do you believe men in general are much the same way? Why or why not?
3. Jane travels to New York, not only to visit her son, but because she wonders about her relationship with Wilson. Should she have been more honest with Wilson as to her reasons for leaving? Would talking to Wilson about her concerns have helped? Jane is portrayed as primarily a mother, who – at least in Wilson's eyes – is far less at fault for the marriage problems than he is. Is Wilson being realistic when it comes to his impression of Jane? What could Jane have done earlier in their marriage to convince Wilson to spend more time with the family? Is Jane the type of person who is comfortable with confrontation? Why or why not?
4. The wedding plans come together over the course of a week. Was there anything that Wilson could have changed to make the wedding even more special?
5. The house is a central setting in the novel. What other roles does the house play?
6. How is the house a metaphor for the relationship between Wilson and Jane? How is it a metaphor for Noah and Allie? How is it a metaphor for life?
7. Noah, who's story was told in The Notebook, makes a return visit as a character in The Wedding. Did Noah seem the same as you originally imagined him? In what ways was he the same? In what ways was he different? How does Noah view his role when it comes to Wilson? What is his role when it comes to Jane? Noah also believes that Allie, his departed wife, is still with him. Is this reasonable? Did Noah really believe it, or did he simply want to believe it? What is the difference between the two?
8. Anna plays a small, albeit important, role in the story. Should her character have been more deeply explored? Anna is an accomplice of sorts to Wilson. Is this in keeping with her character? Anna has a distant, yet strangely touching, relationship with Wilson. How has this relationship changed over the years? By the end of the novel, do you believe Anna sees Wilson with new respect? How does she see her mother?
9. The Wedding builds to a dramatic twist at the end of the novel. Were you surprised? After finishing the novel, had Wilson's plans always been obvious? Was it possible to realize what was happening through a closer reading of the novel?
- Publication Date: July 1, 2003
- Genres: Fiction
- Paperback: 286 pages
- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
- ISBN-10: 0446693332
- ISBN-13: 9780446693332