Reading guide for Love Stories in This Town by Amanda Eyre Ward

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Love Stories in This Town

by Amanda Eyre Ward

Love Stories in This Town by Amanda Eyre Ward
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Apr 2009, 224 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Stacey Brownlie

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. Though the book’s title may seem romantic, it actually comes from a moment of extreme cynicism–a bartender telling Lola after her ex-boyfriend’s wedding that “There are no love stories in this town.” Why do you think Ward chose this as the title for the collection? Did reading these stories make you see love stories in a different light?

  2. If you have read Ward’s novels, did you find the tone or perspective of any of these stories familiar? How would you describe Ward’s writing style? Her characters?

  3. Fertility and pregnancy play a big role in a number of these stories. How do the women in these stories approach motherhood? Is it different from how their husbands seem to be approaching fatherhood? Do you see these issues representing larger themes about identity, change, or relationships?

  4. The realities of living in a post-9/11 world come up in several stories–in the narrator’s obsession with Cipro in “Should I Be Scared,” in Lola’s anxiety about living in Saudi Arabia in “Motherhood and Terrorism,” and in Casey’s grief in “The Way the Sky Changed.” How much are these stories about a specific moment in history, and how much do they speak to broader emotional issues?

  5. Ward’s stories take place in a variety of “towns”– in Texas, New York, Maine, Montana–and in San Fran cisco. How important is setting to the stories? What do you think they mean, in particular, to Lola, who lives in a number of quite different places?

  6. Like Lola and Emmett, the narrator of “Should I Be Scared?” and her husband have different interests–his in science, hers in the humanities. How does the clash between science and imagination factor into each story? How do you think it shapes each of their relationships? 7. Lola Wilkerson is at the center of six of the collection’s twelve stories. Why do you think Ward devotes so much of her collection to this character? What similarities do you see between the Lola stories and the preceding stories? What is different about these stories?

  7. Lola Wilkerson is at the center of six of the collection’s twelve stories. Why do you think Ward devotes so much of her collection to this character? What similarities do you see between the Lola stories and the preceding stories? What is different about these stories?

  8. How do you think Lola’s relationship with her father impacts her relationship with Iain, and later with Emmett?

  9. Nan and Sissy are very different characters–and mothers. How do you see their personalities and parenting styles affecting their children? Do you think Lola is more similar to Nan, or is she influenced by both of them?

  10. From the ceramic consultant in “Should I Be Scared?” to Kimberly’s fashion design, from the Internet start-up in “Shakespeare.com” to Lola’s dramatic career shift, work is a feature of many of these stories. How would you describe the role work plays in the female characters’ lives? Is it different for the men?

  11. From snappy comebacks to a strong sense of the absurd, humor appears in many of Ward’s stories. How would you describe the way humor fits into her sensibility as a writer? What were some of your favorite funny lines or moments?

  12. Do you have a favorite story in the collection? Which story did you find the saddest? The most surprising?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Ballantine Books. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Goodbye Days
    Goodbye Days
    by Jeff Zentner
    Guilt can be a heavy burden for anyone to manage, but it's especially difficult for teenagers. ...
  • Book Jacket: The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
    The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
    by Hannah Tinti
    Hannah Tinti follows her spectacular 2008 debut, The Good Thief, with a novel of uncommon ...
  • Book Jacket: Music of the Ghosts
    Music of the Ghosts
    by Vaddey Ratner
    Music of the Ghosts is about healing and forgiveness, but it is also about identity and the revival ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Nest
by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

A funny and acutely perceptive debut about four siblings and the fate of their shared inheritance.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    No One Is Coming to Save Us
    by Stephanie Powell Watts

    One of Entertainment Weekly, Nylon and Elle's most anticipated books of 2017.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Manderley Forever
    by Tatiana de Rosnay

    Bestselling author Tatiana de Rosnay pays homage to Daphne du Maurier.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Read the best books first...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y S M B, I'll S Y

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -