Reading guide for Suzanne's Diary For Nicholas by James Patterson

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

Suzanne's Diary For Nicholas

by James Patterson

Suzanne's Diary For Nicholas
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jul 2001, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2002, 272 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. In this novel, Matt breaks up with Katie by leaving behind a diary written by his wife Suzanne for their young son, Nicholas. Suzanne pours out her feelings about Matt, Nicholas, about her joys of being a country doctor in Martha's Vineyard, about being a wife and mother, about her love for the Island and for the sea. Matt tells Katie he can't see her anymore, but leaves the diary for her. Was he courageous or cowardly? (We later learn that he doesn't like to talk about sad things.) What is the best way to tell a new partner about a past life? Should he have put Katie through this agony?

  2. The lasting lesson in Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas is the story of five balls. In it Life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. The balls are called work, family, health, friends, and integrity. Every day you keep them all in the air. Then you come to understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls are made of glass. When dropped, they will probably shatter.

    Suzanne's glass ball was her health. Is there anything she could have done to keep all the balls in balance? Should she have given up more to save her life? Stopped being a doctor, hired help for Nicholas? Gone to other specialists?

  3. Matt is the forgotten one in this book, because we never really get to know how he feels. The diary is written by Suzanne and the story is about Katie's reaction to the diary.

    He's a complex guy with a library filled with classics. He writes poetry, paints houses, went to an Ivy League college. He likes to dance and race cars. He's a caring father and husband. In fact, he seems to be too good to be true!

    Yet like many writers, he put much of his emotion in his writing, as we can tell from the last anguished chapter in the diary. How can we help people like Matt who hurt, yet are so emotionally blocked that they seem not to need any help?

  4. Katie is an enigma. She's a sensible, hardworking woman. She lives by the country creed she was taught: Hands to work; hearts to God. Yet her love for Matt blinds her and causes her usual caution to go out the window.

    Why did she get pregnant without a certain future? Having children wasn't yet in their plan. Of all the characters in the book, it seems as if Katie profits most from the lessons of the five balls. She is trying to find balance, but it's a tough juggling act because she's put her whole life into her work. Which ball is most likely to shatter for you, and how can you stop this from happening?

  5. So many books about love and loss take place on peaceful islands surrounded by idyllic seacoasts, salty breezes, and ocean sounds, Alice Hoffman's Illumination Night comes to mind. Could the story have the same power if set in landlocked Iowa or New York City streets?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Grand Central Publishing. 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!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: A Great Reckoning
    A Great Reckoning
    by Louise Penny
    Canadian author Louise Penny is back with her twelfth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...
  • Book Jacket: When Breath Becomes Air
    When Breath Becomes Air
    by Paul Kalanithi
    When Breath Becomes Air is the autobiography of Paul Kalanithi, written in the time period between ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member 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

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

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.