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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Goodbye for Now

1. RePose takes heat from the press and from religious groups. What do you think those groups’ reactions would be if this technology existed? Are their concerns legitimate?

2. Why does Meredith start to become disillusioned with the virtual Livvie?

3. For which of their clients does RePose seem to work best? And for whom does it work less well? What seems to make the difference?

4. Do Dash and Meredith seem like family? They’re very different, but what do they have in common?

5. There’s a lot of loss in this book, but there’s a lot gained as well, especially in the way of new and sometimes surprising family. What’s gained here? What new love does RePose bring about?

6. Why does Sam tell Julia she can’t RePose? Is he right or wrong to deny her the chance to speak with her daughter again?

7. Meredith is really our own Dead Loved One, the only projection we know both before and after death, so she’s our chance to see whether RePose really works. Does it? Is Meredith’s projection a good likeness of her? A satisfying one? When she says things she’s said before, do you feel more joy at remembering or despair at her loss?

8. Penny and Josh both argue that RePose is for the dying. Who benefits most from RePose -- the dying, the living, or the dead? How does it help each of those groups?

9. Sam feels that he’s been forgiven at the very end of the novel. What sins does he think he’s committed, and do you agree? Should he be sorry? How can he make amends?

10. Why does Meredith get the last word? What hope does she offer?

11. Does the technology in this book seem plausible?

12. How much of your identity is online? If RePose existed, how well do you think you could be recreated based on your online archive? How is the picture of you presented on Facebook or Twitter or other social media sites an accurate one, and how is it less accurate?

13. If RePose existed, would you use it? Who would you contact? Would you video chat or just email? What would you say if you could?

14. What should happen to our online identities—our Facebook pages and old emails and video chats and Twitter feeds and archived texts and blogs, etc.—after we die? How can social media help the loved ones we leave behind?

Goodbye for Now
by Laurie Frankel

  • Publication Date: August 7, 2012
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday
  • ISBN-10: 0385536186
  • ISBN-13: 9780385536189