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All the Lonely People


A cozy novel for fans of A Man Called Ove. A widowed retiree will rediscover the...
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Why do you think Hubert chooses the moment he does to try to increase his social circle? As adults, it can be very difficult to form new friendships, why do you suppose this is?

Created: 08/17/22

Replies: 9

Posted Aug. 17, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3058

Why do you think Hubert chooses the moment he does to try to increase his social circle? As adults, it can be very difficult to form new friendships, why do you suppose this is?

Why do you think Hubert chooses the moment he does to try to increase his social circle? What do you think about how he goes about meeting new people?

As adults, it can be very difficult to form new friendships, why do you suppose this is? What are some good ways to make new friends?


Posted Aug. 17, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cynthiaa

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 107

RE: Why do you think Hubert chooses the ...

As adults I think it’s hard to form new relationships because people have their own busy lives.


Posted Aug. 17, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jenniferj

Join Date: 09/30/17

Posts: 59

RE: Why do you think Hubert chooses the ...

Often times, we tend to believe people are all busy with their own lives and have plenty of companionship with their existing family and friends. Ashleigh was the catalyst to bring Hubert out of his shell. Her persistence and honesty about her own loneliness allowed Hubert to break down some of the walls he had built around himself. She needed him to watch Layla. It had been a while since anyone needed Hubert. This was an opportunity for him to once again connect with others.


Posted Aug. 17, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
skaleba

Join Date: 06/04/22

Posts: 5

RE: Why do you think Hubert chooses the ...

It is surprisingly difficult for adults to make new friends. In my personal life, I have more actively sought out new friendships during life stage transitions; starting a new job, kids starting a new school, moving to a new home, etc. Reading Ashleigh's perseverance to meet a new neighbor was "cringey" to me at times....but it shouldn't have been! The world needs more Ashleigh's! I am embarrassed to say I don't know all of my neighbors, and this story has brought this fact more to light and I am going to make more of an effort to make more neighborhood connections.


Posted Aug. 18, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lorrained

Join Date: 12/04/20

Posts: 79

RE: Why do you think Hubert chooses the ...

In Hubert's mind, he had been lying to his daughter. He was pressured and felt that he had to provide the friendship circle she thought he had created. This occurred right after meeting Ashleigh. She also needed new friends and enthusiastically repeatedly reached out to him. She was the natural avenue for his re-entry in a social life.


Posted Aug. 18, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
LWReads

Join Date: 08/09/18

Posts: 41

RE: Why do you think Hubert chooses the ...

Ashleigh’s visit came at a time when Hubert was realizing it was time for him to make some actual friends. Planning for the impending “visit” of his daughter helped him justify to himself that making friends was a good thing. Otherwise, he would likely have just kept on with his three made-up friends.


Posted Aug. 21, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
TerryPark

Join Date: 09/03/19

Posts: 35

RE: Why do you think Hubert chooses the ...

Taking care of Layla gave him a greater appreciation for his value to others, a reminder that he could be appreciated. Ashleigh’s desperate need for help and her identification of Hubert as the most likely helper certainly was key. Trying to put some reality in the stories he had shared with his daughter was the additional impetus.


Posted Aug. 26, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Tired Bookreader

Join Date: 08/19/11

Posts: 187

RE: Why do you think Hubert chooses the ...

As a person who prefers my own company, I found this baffling. Good for the character to want to become accessible for a good cause. Others could have fought the good fight a little better.


Posted Aug. 29, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 668

RE: Why do you think Hubert chooses the ...

I'm also someone who prefers my own company, but I sometimes worry about not having more friends. I know people my age who still get together with people they knew from high school or college, and like Rose informs Hubert, I've seen studies that seem to indicate those with friends live longer. I find I can make acquaintances by participating in groups (I'm "friends" with people in a running club, the same with a trail maintenance group I'm a part of) but I wouldn't say these friendships are destined to be deep or long-lasting. Perhaps it's a personality thing? I find spending a lot of time with people rather draining, for the most part.

In going back and re-reading the early chapters of the book, Rose announces she's coming for a visit after Hubert meets Ashleigh and Leyla for the first time. I suspect Hubert has always felt his loneliness was unhealthy, but this meeting was what gave him a little push to get back out there.


Posted Sep. 15, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ErinJ

Join Date: 11/24/18

Posts: 5

RE: Why do you think Hubert chooses the ...

I think Ashleigh's attempts at meeting people and making friends reminds Hubert of earlier, happier days, cracking the fiction he's concocted for his life and prompting his subconscious to push him back out into the world. His troubles finding new friends his own age (or even reconnecting with his previous friends) are unfortunately all too common.

In my experience, many adults lack opportunities for making friends because life gets busy and revolves around work and other responsibilities--not like when you're in school and meet people your own age constantly. It takes more conscious effort to find or create community, and not everyone wants or has energy to do that. Or time. Even with my long-time friends, we don't get together very often at all because our lives are just in different directions, so it takes planning and effort and calendar coordination. If it weren't for meeting my kids' friends' parents, my social circle really wouldn't expand at all any more.

Once your kids are grown, as Hubert's are, and especially once you're retired, as Hubert is, those opportunities for making friends shrink to practically nothing unless you actively seek community at a senior center or church/mosque/synagogue, etc. And as was mentioned in a training session I attended yesterday, the advent of air conditioning triggered the reduction in neighbors interacting, so it's not in the least surprising that Hubert doesn't know any of his neighbors and therefore has no community watching out for him or each other.

In my neighborhood, I've been very deliberate in meeting and interacting with my nearest neighbors, and even then it's hard to maintain consistent connection with anyone who doesn't also take kids to or from the school bus stop. Hooray for nice weather when we're more likely to be outside in our yards or taking walks! An unexpected side effect of the pandemic was that more people were closer to home and outside, so we actually interacted with more neighbors more often the past couple of years, though that's slowing as things have opened back up and people have returned to old habits and patterns of behavior.

I love how their group in the book brings awareness to the problem of loneliness and the need for community. Even for introverts--just because you need to recharge after interacting with people doesn't mean that you don't still need those positive interactions, those community connections.


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