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Book club questions for Maybe Next Time by Cesca Major explore the themes of love, loss, and self-discovery as Emma, the protagonist, navigates a challenging time loop.
How does technology impact our connections with others? Why is it important to be in the present moment? What are the complexities of modern relationships?
This book will really make you take a deep dive into your own actions. I couldn’t stop turning the pages. You will see references to the film – Groundhog Day – because the main character live a day over and over again. The ending of the book will make you cry – I deeply recommend reading it!
Maybe Next Time by Cesca Major
This amazing book is also Reese’s Book Club Pick for November 2023!
In this blog post you will find the discussion questions for Maybe Next Time by Cesca Major.
At the bottom of this post I also have some additional suggestions for novels that share similar themes and narratives, as well as PDF with printable discussion question you can use with your book clubs.
About the Novel
The story follows Emma, a busy London literary agent, who must relive the same day over and over. In her quest to change the course of fate, Emma attempts different actions each day to prevent a tragic event from happening to her husband, Dan.
As she navigates the challenges of balancing work, family, and personal growth, the story explores themes of love, loss, and self-discovery.
This moving tale captures the struggles and pressures faced by modern women, emphasizing the importance of slowing down and appreciating life.
About the Author
Cesca Major is a talented writer known for her novels and screenplays. She’s written many books published in different countries and has received nominations for prestigious awards.
Her latest book, Maybe Next Time, was chosen by Reese’s Book Club, and is being developed into a film by Hello Sunshine and Apple Originals. Cesca also has another exciting story, If I Were You, coming out in 2024, which is also being made into a film.
Apart from writing, she hosts shows, speaks on panels, creates vlogs about the writing process, and mentors aspiring writers.
Book Club Questions for Maybe Next Time
Disclaimer: the following discussion questions contain spoilers, so proceed with caution if you haven’t finished the book yet.
- What were your initial thoughts and feelings about Emma as a protagonist? Were you able to relate to her character, especially in her juggling act between work, family, and other responsibilities?
- How did you feel about the use of the time loop concept in the story? Do you think it added depth to the narrative, and how did it influence your understanding of the characters and their relationships?
- Explore the dynamics of Emma and Dan’s marriage. How did the anniversary letters provide insight into their relationship over the years? Were there moments that resonated with your own experiences in relationships?
- Emma faces the challenges of being a working mother. How did the story portray the struggles of balancing work, parenting, and personal time? Discuss the impact of parenthood on Emma and Dan’s relationship.
- How did Emma’s character evolve throughout the story? What lessons did she learn, and how did her priorities change as she relived the same day repeatedly?
- Poppy, Emma’s daughter, exhibits unusual behavior during the time loop. What do you think her behavior signifies, and how does it reflect the impact of Emma’s actions on her children? Did you find Poppy’s reactions realistic given the circumstances?
- The book explores themes of love, loss, and self-discovery. How did these themes play out in the context of Emma’s repeated experiences in the time loop? Discuss specific scenes or moments that highlighted these themes.
- Miles, Emma’s son, has a complex relationship with his mother. How did he cope with the repeated days, especially concerning his father’s fate? Discuss specific scenes where Miles’ reactions were particularly poignant or revealing.
- Reflect on the importance of communication in relationships, both between partners and within families. How did miscommunication or lack of communication impact the characters’ lives, and how did they learn to connect better?
- Gus, the family dog, is a recurring presence in the story. How did Gus’s behavior mirror the emotions and dynamics within the family? Do you think Gus symbolizes something more profound in the narrative?
- Emma tries different approaches in each repeated day. Discuss the significance of her choices and the consequences they have on her family and herself. Were there choices you felt particularly impactful or poignant?
- The story briefly touches on Emma’s involvement in WhatsApp groups and social media. How do you think the prevalence of technology and social media affected Emma’s life and relationships? Did it contribute to her sense of overwhelm?
- Explore the roles of supporting characters such as Miles, Poppy, and Emma’s friends. How did they contribute to the story’s emotional depth, and how did they influence Emma’s decisions?
- The story has been described as a reflection on mindfulness, appreciation for life’s small moments, and the importance of being present. How did reading this book affect your perspective on your own life and priorities? Did it make you consider making any changes?
- “Maybe Next Time” is often compared to the movie Groundhog Day. Discuss the similarities and differences between the two and how the book uniquely approaches the time loop trope. Which elements did you find more compelling in this story?
- Without giving away spoilers, discuss your thoughts on the book’s ending. Did it provide the closure you were expecting? Were you satisfied with how the story concluded?
- Share any favorite quotes or passages from the book that resonated with you and explain why they had an impact.
Hope you enjoyed the book club discussion questions and reading guide for Maybe Next Time by Cesca Major.
Here are some more of my book club recommendations related to this book:
Tom Lake by Ann Patchett
In this beautiful and moving novel about family, love, and growing up, Ann Patchett once again proves herself one of America’s finest writers.
In the spring of 2020, Lara’s three daughters return to the family’s orchard in Northern Michigan. While picking cherries, they beg their mother to tell them the story of Peter Duke, a famous actor with whom she shared both a stage and a romance years before at a theater company called Tom Lake.
As Lara recalls the past, her daughters examine their own lives and relationship with their mother, and are forced to reconsider the world and everything they thought they knew.
Tom Lake is a meditation on youthful love, married love, and the lives parents have led before their children were born. Both hopeful and elegiac, it explores what it means to be happy even when the world is falling apart.
As in all of her novels, Ann Patchett combines compelling narrative artistry with piercing insights into family dynamics. The result is a rich and luminous story, told with profound intelligence and emotional subtlety, that demonstrates once again why she is one of the most revered and acclaimed literary talents working today.
Let Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward
The story follows Annis, an enslaved girl who has been sold south by the white man who fathered her. Annis becomes the reader’s guide through a brutal landscape, from the rice fields of the Carolinas to the slave markets of New Orleans and the heart of a Louisiana sugar plantation.
Amidst the harrowing journey, Annis seeks solace in memories of her mother and tales of her African warrior grandmother. Throughout the narrative, Annis opens herself to a world beyond the physical realm, connecting with spirits of earth, water, myth, and history.
This novel is a profound exploration of Black American grief and joy, a tale of rebirth and reclamation, making it a masterful and deeply moving addition to Ward’s literary legacy.
Starling House by Alix E. Harrow
A finalist for the Kirkus Prize, Andrew Carnegie Medal, Aspen Words Literary Prize, and a New York Times bestseller, this majestic, stirring, and widely praised novel from two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward, the story of a family on a journey through rural Mississippi, is a “tour de force” (O, The Oprah Magazine) and a timeless work of fiction that is destined to become a classic.
Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. He doesn’t lack in fathers to study, chief among them his Black grandfather, Pop. But there are other men who complicate his understanding: his absent White father, Michael, who is being released from prison; his absent White grandfather, Big Joseph, who won’t acknowledge his existence; and the memories of his dead uncle, Given, who died as a teenager.
His mother, Leonie, is an inconsistent presence in his and his toddler sister’s lives. She is an imperfect mother in constant conflict with herself and those around her. She is Black and her children’s father is White. She wants to be a better mother but can’t put her children above her own needs, especially her drug use. Simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high, Leonie is embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances.
When the children’s father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another thirteen-year-old boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love.
For my book club questions for this book, click here!
Printable Discussion Questions for Maybe Next Time
Feel free to distribute these questions to your book club members before your meeting. Simply click the link below to download and print the PDF file.
Happy reading! ❤️