Reading guide for The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes by Anna McPartlin

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The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes

by Anna McPartlin

The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes by Anna McPartlin X
The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes by Anna McPartlin
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2015, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2016, 384 pages

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Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!

  1. In The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes the story is broken up by spotlighting specific characters in each section. How did this format affect your reading experience? Do you feel there's a unique voice for each character?
  2. How did your feelings about the Hayes family change throughout the novel? Were there specific characters that you grew to appreciate? Were there certain characters that disappointed you?
  3. The author often uses humor amidst a difficult and serious situation. Did the use of humor affect how you experienced the story?
  4. While each member of this family is extremely different, did you notice any unifying qualities that they share? If so, what are they?
  5. Molly and Jack, both stubborn, are dealing with the death of their daughter in completely different ways. Who could you relate to more readily? Why?
  6. "Faith" is often considered in the wake of death and hardship. Between the scene with Father Lennon (pg. 195), the discussion between Molly and Jack (pg. 103), Johnny's experience with Mother Teresa (pg. 240), and Father Frank's blessing (pg. 291), discuss the role of religion and how its tied to coping with death in the novel?
  7. In many ways this book is a commentary on mortality. While death is mourned in this story, it is also portrayed as a "welcoming darkness" (pages 93, 280, 362) that Rabbit is being drawn towards, almost willingly. Discuss this imagery.
  8. Did you have a favorite relationship, friendship, interaction in the novel? What is it about the duo that you enjoyed or learned from?
  9. What concept about family did this novel reinforce for you? Did it remind you of examples from your own familial experiences?
  10. Johnny Faye's character is shown to us through a series of Rabbit's memories. What did you perceive to be the most memorable experience they had together? Why? When, in your opinion, did their relationship shift from friendly to romantic?
  11. Who did you want Juliet to stay with? Why?
  12. While this story is fiction, the circumstances are ones that many people face in reality. What does this novel tell us about death's ability to change the way we live daily life?


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

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