MLA Platinum Award Press Release

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

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

Love Stories in This Town

by Amanda Eyre Ward

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

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Apr 2009, 224 pages

    Genres

  • 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 will 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" articles
  • 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 $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Death in Mud Lick
    Death in Mud Lick
    by Eric Eyre
    When Eric Eyre, investigative and statehouse reporter for the Charleston Gazette-Daily, began ...
  • Book Jacket
    Orange World and Other Stories
    by Karen Russell
    Karen Russell has a tremendous gift for crafting uncanny, through-the-looking glass worlds that are ...
  • Book Jacket: The Book of Longings
    The Book of Longings
    by Sue Monk Kidd
    The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd follows the life of Ana, a woman born in the Galilean city of ...
  • Book Jacket: Master Class
    Master Class
    by Christina Dalcher
    Christina Dalcher's Master Class shows America sleepwalking into a perfectionist eventuality not ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Daughter of the Reich
    by Louise Fein

    A spellbinding story of impossible love set against the backdrop of the Nazi regime.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Prisoner's Wife
    by Maggie Brookes

    Inspired by the true story of a courageous young woman who enters a Nazi POW camp to be with the man she loves.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Paris Hours
by Alex George

One day in the City of Light. One night in search of lost time.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The House on Fripp Island

The House on Fripp Island
by Rebecca Kauffman

A taut, page-turning novel of secrets and strife.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

B I T T Water

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 the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.