Skip to Content

Book Club Questions for The Summer Book Club by Susan Mallery

This post may contain affiliate links. Read more here.

the summer book club discussion guide

Book club questions for The Summer Book Club by Susan Mallery explore the themes of friendship, love, self-discovery, and the courage to take risks and embrace change.

I absolutely adored this book. Laurel, Paris, and Cassie are such fantastic friends, and their book club gatherings are a blast! I wish I had friends like them in real life.

Each of these women has their own big life issues to deal with and lessons to learn, but I enjoyed every moment of their journey – the laughs, the tears, and even the scary parts! Laurel’s daughters and Jonah’s son are absolutely adorable, and let’s not forget about Bandit… This book was such a great read that I finished it in a day. Absolutely loved it!

Let me know your thoughts about the novel! Feel free to comment below.

The Summer Book Club by Susan Mallery

In this blog post you will find the discussion questions for The Summer Book Club by Susan Mallery.

Book club questions may also prompt discussions on the individual journeys of Laurel, Paris, and Cassie as they navigate single parenthood, confront the lingering effects of parental abuse, and grapple with the loss of their parents. Additionally, discussions can explore the dynamics of friendship between them, and how their support for each other contributes to their resilience and ability to overcome challenges.

Have a wonderful book club discussion! ✨

About the Author | Book Club Questions | Additional Recommendations

About the Story

The Summer Book Club is a heartwarming story about friendship, love, and taking chances.

Best friends Laurel and Paris, along with newcomer Cassie, form a book club with simple rules: no sad books, no pressure, and yes to wine! As they navigate their own challenges in life and love, they find inspiration in the heroines of their favorite reads. With the support of each other, they embark on a journey of self-discovery and bravery, learning to embrace new opportunities and live their best lives.

With Susan Mallery’s signature charm, this feel-good novel is perfect for anyone craving a dose of summer vibes and uplifting storytelling.

Release date: February 13, 2024
Genre: Friendship Fiction
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: ‎Canary Street Press

About the Author

susan mallery author

Susan Mallery is a bestselling author known for her heartfelt stories about women’s lives—covering romance, friendship, and family dynamics. With humor and insight, Susan’s books take readers on emotional journeys that uplift and entertain. Her work has spent over 200 weeks on the USA Today bestsellers list and earned praise from critics and fans alike.

Originally trained in Accounting, Susan’s passion for storytelling led her to become a prolific author straight out of college. She achieved her first New York Times bestseller with Accidentally Yours in 2008 and reached #1 with Thrill Me in 2015, solidifying her place as a leading figure in romantic fiction.

Susan, a California native now based in Seattle, shares her home with her husband and their beloved pets—a ragdoll cat and a poodle. Susan is passionate about animal welfare and has served on the board of Seattle Humane, a charity she really cares about. Her commitment to animals extends to her writing, where pets often play a significant role in her stories.

Book Club Questions for The Summer Book Club

Disclaimer: the following discussion questions contain spoilers, so proceed with caution if you haven’t finished the book yet.

  1. How do Laurel, Paris, and Cassie support each other throughout the book, and what does their friendship mean to each of them?
  2. Discuss the challenges that Laurel faces as a single mother after her divorce. How does she navigate feelings of inadequacy and work to improve her relationship with her daughters?
  3. Explore the theme of self-discovery and forgiveness in the book. How do Laurel, Paris, and Cassie confront their pasts and work towards becoming better versions of themselves?
  4. Paris’ temper led to the end of her marriage with a great guy. How did this revelation affect your perception of her character? Did your feelings evolve as you learned more about her?
  5. When Jonah takes partial blame for his divorce with Paris, what do you think he means? Do you agree with his perspective on fault in divorce? Share your views on whether divorce can ever be solely attributed to one person.
  6. Despite her personal growth, Paris struggles to believe in herself. What finally convinces her that she’s capable of taking a chance on love again
  7. What role do the male characters, such as Raphael, Colton, and Jonah, play in challenging the women and contributing to their growth?
  8. How does the book club serve as a tool for the characters to come to a better understanding of themselves and each other? What significance does it hold in their lives?
  9. Laurel expresses concern that her views on men post-divorce may negatively impact her daughters. Do you agree with her worries? How might a parent’s beliefs influence their children’s perspectives on relationships?
  10. Should single mothers actively seek out positive male role models for their children? If so, what approaches could they take? Share your thoughts on Laurel’s plan to find a male friend for her kids.
  11. How does Colton demonstrate that he differs from Laurel’s ex-husband? Did Colton’s family background influence your opinion of him? If yes, how?
  12. Discuss the portrayal of strong women in the novel and the importance of breaking old patterns to embrace new beginnings.
  13. What were your favorite moments or scenes in the book? Did any particular character resonate with you?
  14. Explore the balance between romance, friendship, and personal growth in the story. How do these elements intertwine to create a fulfilling narrative?
  15. Why do Cassie’s siblings kick her out, and do you think their actions were justified? Share your thoughts on family dynamics and accountability in difficult situations.
  16. What pivotal moments serve as the catalyst for change in Laurel’s, Paris’, and Cassie’s lives? How do these “inciting incidents” shape the trajectory of each character’s storyline?
  17. Which character did you find most relatable, and why? What aspects of their journey resonated with you personally?
  18. Reflect on the significance of trust and vulnerability in the characters’ relationships, both romantic and platonic. How do Laurel, Paris, and Cassie navigate their fears of trusting others and opening themselves up to love and friendship?
  19. Initially yearning to return to Maine, Cassie’s perspective shifts by the story’s end. What influences her change of heart towards Los Lobos and her future aspirations?
  20. How does the structure of the summer book club in the novel differ from your own book club? How does your club select its next read, and do you wish the process were different? Does your book club continue meeting during the summer, and if so, do your reading preferences change during that time?
  21. How does the setting, including the small town and the archaeological dig, contribute to the overall atmosphere and themes of the book?
  22. Reflect on the ending of the book. Were you satisfied with how the characters’ stories concluded, and why or why not?

Additional Recommendations

Hope you enjoyed the book club discussion questions and reading guide for The Summer Book Club by Susan Mallery. Here are some more of my book club recommendations from this author, with themes related to this book, along with their synopses:

After Annie by Anna Quindlen

Anna Quindlen’s trademark wisdom on family, friendship, and the ties that bind us are at the center of this novel about the power of love to transcend loss and triumph over adversity, by the author of Still Life with Bread Crumbs and One True Thing.

When Annie Brown dies suddenly, her husband, her children, and her closest friend are left to find a way forward without the woman who has been the lynchpin of all their lives. Bill is overwhelmed without his beloved wife, and Annemarie wrestles with the bad habits her best friend had helped her overcome. And Ali, the eldest of Annie’s children, has to grow up overnight, to care for her younger brothers and even her father and to puzzle out for herself many of the mysteries of adult life.

Over the course of the next year what saves them all is Annie, ever-present in their minds, loving but not sentimental, caring but nobody’s fool, a voice in their heads that is funny and sharp and remarkably clear. The power she has given to those who loved her is the power to go on without her. The lesson they learn is that no one beloved is ever truly gone.

Written in Quindlen’s emotionally resonant voice and with her deep and generous understanding of people, After Annie is about hope, and about the unexpected power of adversity to change us in profound and indelible ways.

Happy Place by Emily Henry

A couple who broke up months ago pretend to still be together for their annual weeklong vacation with their best friends in this glittering and wise new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Emily Henry.
Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college—they go together like salt and pepper, honey and tea, lobster and rolls. Except, now—for reasons they’re still not discussing—they don’t.
They broke up five months ago. And still haven’t told their best friends.
Which is how they find themselves sharing a bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group’s yearly getaway for the last decade. Their annual respite from the world, where for one vibrant, blissful week they leave behind their daily lives; have copious amounts of cheese, wine, and seafood; and soak up the salty coastal air with the people who understand them most.
Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other. Because the cottage is for sale and this is the last week they’ll all have together in this place. They can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, and so they’ll play their parts. Harriet will be the driven surgical resident who never starts a fight, and Wyn will be the laid-back charmer who never lets the cracks show. It’s a flawless plan (if you look at it from a great distance and through a pair of sunscreen-smeared sunglasses). After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week…in front of those who know you best?

The Beach House by Rachel Hanna

This women’s divorce fiction book will give you all the feels. Grab your tissues and go on a journey with this quirky cast of characters. If you love women’s fiction and clean romance, this series is a great fit for you!

She’s 43 years old…

…and starting over from scratch.

How did this happen? She had it all together. A stable marriage of two decades. Two grown daughters. And now she and her husband, empty nesters, were moving to a beach house.

Until he showed up late one night and tore their marriage apart.

A secret life.

A different woman.

Another family.

Left alone, she has to begin again.

And then her estranged sister and mother get thrown into the mix.

When she buys a house on a small South Carolina island, will she learn what life is really about?

Or will she find out that some relationships can never be mended?

Happy reading! ❤️