BKMT READING GUIDES

The Myth of You and Me: A Novel
by Leah Stewart

Published: 2006-04-25
Paperback : 312 pages
26 members reading this now
14 clubs reading this now
11 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 1 members
Searingly honest, beautiful, and full of fragile urgency, The Myth of You and Me is a celebration and portrait of a friendship that will appeal to anyone who still feels the absence of that first true friend.

When Cameron was fifteen, Sonia was her best friend—no one could come between ...
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Introduction

Searingly honest, beautiful, and full of fragile urgency, The Myth of You and Me is a celebration and portrait of a friendship that will appeal to anyone who still feels the absence of that first true friend.

When Cameron was fifteen, Sonia was her best friend—no one could come between them. Now Cameron is a twenty-nine-year-old research assistant with no meaningful ties to anyone except her aging boss, noted historian Oliver Doucet.

When an unexpected letter arrives from Sonia ten years after the incident that ended their friendship, Cameron doesn’t reply, despite Oliver’s urging. But then he passes away, and Cameron discovers that he has left her with one final task: to track down Sonia and hand-deliver a mysterious package to her. Now without a job, a home, and a purpose, Cameron decides to honor his request, setting off on the road to find this stranger who was once her inseparable other half.

The Myth of You and Me, the story of Cameron and Sonia’s friendship—as intense as any love affair—and its dramatic demise, captures the universal sense of loss and nostalgia that often lingers after the end of an important relationship.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

Chapter 1


What if you had never met me?" Sonia says. "What would your life be like?"

Sonia has been my best friend for only a few months, but already life without her is difficult to imagine. All I can muster is an image of myself alone in a room. "Boring," I say, and Sonia laughs.

We are lying on her four-poster bed, staring up at the pink canopy, our feet propped on the wall above her headboard. We are fourteen. When I turn my head to look at Sonia, her hair brushes against the side of my face. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

From the Author:

1. How would you describe the relationship between Oliver and Cameron? Is it purely a familial one, or are there romantic undertones? What creates such a tight bond between them?

2. What do you think made Sonia write to Cameron? Can you imagine writing such a letter? What does Sonia mean when she says, “Sometimes without you to confirm these memories I feel like I’ve invented them”?

3. Oliver believes that “all times exist simultaneously,” a concept Cameron returns to several times over the course of the novel. What does Oliver mean by this? How is this notion at odds with Cameron’s statement, on page 215,
that “once you know the end of the story, every part of the story contains that end, and is only a way of reaching it”? Which of these ideas strikes you as most true?

4. Why does Oliver force Cameron to seek out Sonia? What does he want for Cameron’s life?

5. On page 51, Cameron says, “To belong nowhere is a blessing and a curse, like any kind of freedom.” What do you make of this? How have her frequent moves shaped her? How have they affected her worldview? How might she be
different if she’d lived her entire life in one place?

6. What connection does Cameron make between her personality and her height? How does she imagine her height causes others to see her?

7. What role does Sonia’s dyscalculia play in her life? How has it affected her idea of herself? Her approach to the world? Why do you think she chooses to let Cameron in on this secret, and what’s the effect on Cameron when she
tells her?

8. How are Cameron and Sonia shaped by their relationships with their parents?

9. Do you think that what Sonia did to end her friendship with Cameron is forgivable? Why or why not? Why do you think she did it? Why does Cameron find it so difficult to forgive? Is what Cameron did in response forgivable?


10. What draws Cameron to Will? Should Cameron be held responsible for her feelings for Will when he was Sonia’s boyfriend, even though she didn’t act on them? When she meets him again as an adult, why are her feelings so
hard for her to express?

11. Sonia tells Cameron on page 205: “You’re a dreamer who doesn’t believe in the dream.” What does she mean by this? How do you see this play out in Cameron’s behavior?

12. Which of the two friends do you sympathize with more, Cameron or Sonia? At which points in the novel do you most sympathize with Sonia? With Cameron? At which points do you sympathize with them the least? Why?

13. In the prologue, Sonia tells Cameron that every decision we make affects the rest of our lives. Do you think this is true? What are the crucial decisions in
Cameron’s life? Sonia’s? Oliver’s? Why did they make them?

14. Why are friendships between teenage girls so intense? What brings Cameron and Sonia together? What does each bring to the friendship? What does each get out of it?

15. On page 114, Cameron says that these intense teenage friendships can’t last. Is this true? Why or why not?

16. What kind of relationship do you imagine Sonia and Cameron having after the end of the novel? Have they begun a new phase of their friendship, or simply achieved closure?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "I liked it"by jdjennib (see profile) 01/11/10

I liked it but was expecting it to be better.

 
  "Certainly not a challenging read"by Natty6782 (see profile) 04/14/09

Overall the book was enjoyed.It was a quick easy read on a subject that we are all familiar. We didn't find many of the scenerios believable or realistic. Neither character evoked much sympathy and quite... (read more)

 
  "Easy read, author goes back and forth from the present to ten years prior, and then back even further. Story of two high school girlfriends who abruptly end their friendship due to a betrayal."by joannemorrone (see profile) 02/19/09

Sometimes the author confuses us with her past and present settings. Some of the scenarios are hard to believe.

 
  "When Cameron was fifteen, she and Sonia were best friends—so close it seemed nothing would ever come between them."by Antsy (see profile) 02/12/09

This book was well received by our group. We had a great discussion about friendships, betrayal, and the relationship between mothers and daughters.

 
  "A story of how relationships change and morph into different sometimes less intense and different experiences."by sidneyperkinson (see profile) 02/12/09

This book is an excellent depiction of how relationships change over time. Sometimes a relationship can change to the point that you wonder if it was a myth or that you imagined it ever hap... (read more)

 
  "A look back on the friendships that shaped your life"by lollygil (see profile) 01/30/09

The intense friendships we had in our teens that don't last, have an impact on the future of our lives. How many times have we looked back and remembered but never caught back up with them..... (read more)

 
  "Interesting look at friendship and how interwoven the stages of life truly are."by dwoodard035 (see profile) 01/21/09

Good read for women. Relationship focused. Quick read.

 
  "Great book!"by stefanieapplegate1 (see profile) 10/13/08

Everyone in the club liked this book. It was easy to relate to and brought up a lot of good discussion points. I would definitly recommend this book!

 
  "quick and interesting"by melissa618 (see profile) 10/11/08

This was a really quick read! It made for a really good discussion with the rest of the group about friendship, growing up, and how many hardship a friendship can handle.

 
  "A long=lived friendship between two girls falls apart after one of them decides to be honest about what she had done. Through a diligent search, the former friends re-connect."by mapfleger (see profile) 09/25/07

There is much that happens in this book as it moves variously back and forth through time. This book prompts much thought about what it means to be a friend. Excellent read.

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