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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Goodbye Quilt

1. Do you think parents consciously prepare themselves for the empty nest phase, or do most people move into this part of their life rather unprepared? What do you think people look forward to the most in this phase? What do they dread?

2. Aside from the obvious (the unoccupied room in the house!), how does a mother's life change when a grown child leaves home?

3. Once the kids are out of the house, is it possible for a couple to replicate the relationship they had before they'd come along, or do they have to negotiate something different?

4. Do you feel it's important to mark life's milestones with something concrete? How do you do it in your family? What did you think of how the quilt itself ended up in this story?

5. What are the pros and cons of sending a kid to a local school versus out-of-state and far away? What opportunities does each offer, and what opportunities are missed?

6. Linda has a very intense reaction to letting her only child go. What about her character feeds this intensity?

7. Do we project our own ambitions onto our kids? How do we avoid doing this, or, if we must, is there a healthy way of doing it?

8. Is there any way to help your child avoid making the mistakes you made? Why or why not?

9. If you could send your child out into the world with only ONE piece of advice from you, what would that advice be?

The Goodbye Quilt
by Susan Wiggs

  • Publication Date: October 25, 2011
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Mira
  • ISBN-10: 0778313220
  • ISBN-13: 9780778313229