Reading Group Guides

Reading Group Guides

The Ocean Between Us

MIRA (May 2010)
ISBN-10: 0778328635
ISBN-13: 978-0778328636
Originally Published in 2004

Reading Guide

  1. Have you ever parted on bad terms with a loved one? Did you feel regrets about it or was it justified? Should Grace and Steve tried to put their differences aside when he shipped out?
  2. How much input should a parent get when it comes to advising kids what to do after high school? Did Brian and Emma make good choices? What were other choices they might have explored? Does Steve’s job make it easier or harder for the kids to plan their futures?
  3. How did you feel about Steve’s decision to hide the past from his present family? When is it all right to keep something in the past a secret from your loved ones?
  4. What’s missing from Lauren Stanton’s life? How do you think she and Josh will fare in the future? Is happiness possible for this couple?
  5. How does the life of a Navy wife differ from the life of a civilian woman? Does it seem exciting to you, or would it be a nightmare? Would you like or dislike moving every three years? What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing this?
  6. What did you think about Emma’s ordeal? Was her decision to keep silent understandable? Did you agree or disagree with her parents’ reaction when they found out the truth?
  7. Steve’s decision in the end was a bombshell. How do you think this will play out for the family? Have you ever made a life-changing decision without being sure of the outcome? How did it work out for you?
  8. This quote is featured on the author’s web site: “One advantage of marriage, it seems to me, is that when you fall out of love with him, or he falls out of love with you, it keeps you together until you maybe fall in again.” —Judith Viorst, “What Is This Thing Called Love?” (Redbook, Feb. ’75). What’s your opinion of that? How does it apply to the characters in The Ocean Between Us? Is this a factor in you own life?