The Reminders

by Val Emmich
The Reminders by Val Emmich >

Discussion Questions

1.Joan is born with the incredible ability to remember small details from every single day of her life. But she seems conflicted about this ability, referring to it as, "my gift or condition or disease or whatever you want to call it." Do you see Joan's memory as more of a blessing or a curse? If you had the choice, would you want to remember everything? Is there a particular person or event you wish you remembered better?

2.Val Emmich used real-life experience for inspiration. His daughter fell out of a shopping cart at Home Depot and he was worried she may have suffered permanent brain damage. Yet Emmich does not choose to write from Ollie or Paige's perspective. How do you think Joan's parents feel about Joan? What are the challenges of parenting an extraordinary child?

3.On page 19 Joan says "When people dance they forget and when they cry they remember." What's a song that makes you cry? What's a song that makes you dance? Do you remember where you were when you first heard those songs?

4.Emmich chose to make Gavin an up-and-coming television actor. How did this effect your perception of Gavin throughout the story? Did his personality correspond with expectations you may have had for celebrities and people in the public eye?

5.Paige neglected to tell Gavin about Mara for a long time after Sydney's passing. Why do you think she kept this information a secret for so long? Both Paige and Mara were considering giving up their own eggs for Sydney. What factors would you consider when making such a decision?

6.Grief and mourning are major themes in this novel. On her television show, Mindy Love asks Gavin, "Those of us who have lost loved ones can certainly appreciate the pain you were in, but what made you take that next step and just all of a sudden want to burn everything?" Gavin believes that ridding himself of material items might help Sydney's lingering memory disappear. Are there particular items that carry this weight in your life? Gavin ultimately finds this strategy futile. Discuss.

7.THE REMINDERS is Emmich's first novel, but he's been writing songs for decades. Do written stories on the page impact audiences in the same way as songs? Should fiction make you dance or cry in the same way as Joan's song?

8.The Beatles continue to have a devoted fan-base, decades after they released their last album. What about their music has the power to transcend time? Are there bands or albums you feel are important to share with younger generations?

9.Joan was so excited for the "Next Great Songwriter" contest, but the outcome wasn't what she had hoped for or was expecting. Were you satisfied with the results of the contest? What lesson did it teach Joan that she may not have understood otherwise?

10. Joan's primary goal is to be remembered. However, actress Susan Hayward once said, "When you're dead, you're dead....Being remembered isn't the most important thing, anyhow. It's what you do when you are here that's important." Which side do you fall on? Is the idea of being remembered something you spend time thinking about? Or are you more focused on the here and now?

Discussion Questions by the Publisher

PBRHome- for bookish gifts

Recent Book Reviews

Book Review -  Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl by Renee Rosen

Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl

By Renee Rosen
This book is a must-read for anyone who's interested in the fashion world or enjoys reading stories about female friendships. It follows the journey of Gloria and Estee Lauder, two women who share their dreams of working in ...More

 Book Review - The Spectacular by Fiona Davis

The Spectacular

By Fiona Davis
It's 1956, and Marion, a passionate dancer and dance teacher, is thrilled when she has the opportunity to be a Radio City Rockette. But there is a cost; she must sacrifice her family to follow her dream ... More
Book Review -  The Violin Conspiracy by Brian Slocumb

The Violin Conspiracy

By Brendan Slocumb
This book grabbed my attention from the very beginning, with the opening playing beautiful classical music. A few times throughout the book, there are additional snippets of music. It's one of the bonuses of listening to a book on audio ...More

 Book Review - Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

Local Woman Missing

By Mary Kubica
Local Woman Missing is a gripping psychological thriller by Mary Kubica, filled with suspense, mystery, and secrets. I loved how this book grabbed from the first chapter and had me on the edge of my seat... More

Visit Our Blog

You May Also Like

PBR book reviews and Reading guides for book clubs
Visit out Etsy Shop
10 Books I Can't Stop Recommending