Discussion Questions and Reader's Guide for The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

My Not So Perfect Life

By Sophie Kinsella

PBR Book Review:

(by- Linda ) If you're in the mood for something bright and enjoyable to read, this would be perfect. The tone is up beat and although the plot is somewhat predictable, it's easy to follow and totally engaging. There's also a lesson to be learned about the perfect life; even if all outward appearances suggest so, no one has it.

This is a story about Katie's struggles to find herself and her not so perfect life. At times she becomes confused. Is she Cat, the city girl or Katie the country girl? Can she follow her dreams without guilt? Can she find love? There are some fantastic family dynamics in this book too; a great father daughter relationship and I also loved the bond Katie had with her stepmother. In the end we all learn that everyone has good days and not so good days, and we should always rejoice in where we came from.

Book Club Talking Points:

There a re a few re-occurring threads that are discussion worthy. Katie was embarrassed of her roots and tries to hide who she really is, going as far as changing her name when she moves to London. Things are not always what they seem is another topic- her changing attitude towards Demeter show this. Some conversation may also pop up about anger and grudges or getting even.

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Discussion Questions

1. Describe Katie Brenner. Are there aspects of her life you relate to...as someone unsure in her job...or worried about social acceptance...or dissatisfied with the path her life has taken?

2. When Katie moves to London, she tries to erase her not so posh background, which includes altering both her name and accent. Would you describe her actions as those of a phony? Or is she a pragmatist, doing what it takes to make it in a class-conscious society?

3. What does the title suggest in terms of one of the book's central themes. How is life never quite so perfect as we would wish? Whose life is not so perfect in the novel?

4. Describe Demeter. What do you think of her? Does she remind you, say, of Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada? Is she overly stereotyped, or have you known people like her?

5. When Katie leaves Cooper Clemmow, she accuses Demeter and Alex of entitlement, making the point that the trajectory of their careers was made easier by their life circumstances. Is that a fair accusation to make? Does what Katie learn later about the two of them dispell the charge of "entitlement"? Have you ever thought about your own entitlement...or your lack of it? Is there such a thing as entitlement?

6, Alex. Discuss.

7. What does Katie learn about Demeter when she comes to Anster Farm? How do her husband and children seem to relate to her...and she to them? Why does she cry as she nuzzles Carlo the horse-what are those tears about?

8. Consider the "big-sister" talk that Katie has with Coco. What do both Coco and Hal learn about their mother. What, in fact, does Katie learn about Demeter?

9. Ultimately, what does Katie learn about herself and the things that matter most in life?

10. Is My Not So Perfect Life funny? If so, what passages are particularly humorous or display Katie's witty insights?

Discussion Questions by LitLovers

Book Summary

Everywhere Katie Brenner looks, someone else is living the life she longs for, particularly her boss, Demeter Farlowe. Demeter is brilliant and creative, lives with her perfect family in a posh townhouse, and wears the coolest clothes. Katie's life, meanwhile, is a daily struggle-from her dismal rental to her oddball flatmates to the tense office politics she's trying to negotiate. No wonder Katie takes refuge in not-quite-true Instagram posts, especially as she's desperate to make her dad proud.

Then, just as she's finding her feet-not to mention a possible new romance-the worst happens. Demeter fires Katie. Shattered but determined to stay positive, Katie retreats to her family's farm in Somerset to help them set up a vacation business. London has never seemed so far away...until Demeter unexpectedly turns up as a guest. Secrets are spilled and relationships rejiggered, and as the stakes for Katie's future get higher, she must question her own assumptions about what makes for a truly meaningful life.

Sophie Kinsella is celebrated for her vibrant, relatable characters and her great storytelling gifts. Now she returns with all of the wit, warmth, and wisdom that are the hallmarks of her bestsellers to spin this fresh, modern story about presenting the perfect life when the reality is far from the truth.
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