BKMT READING GUIDES

Must Love Dogs
by Claire Cook

Published: 2003
Mass Market Paperback : 288 pages
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A "funny and pitch-perfect" (Chicago Tribune) tale of thirty-something love. First time in trade paperback. "Can another novel about a 40-year-old divorcee creating a new life for herself actually be of interest? Surprisingly, yes . . . this novel is a hoot." (The Boston Globe) "'Eternally ...
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Introduction

A "funny and pitch-perfect" (Chicago Tribune) tale of thirty-something love. First time in trade paperback. "Can another novel about a 40-year-old divorcee creating a new life for herself actually be of interest? Surprisingly, yes . . . this novel is a hoot." (The Boston Globe) "'Eternally hopeful book reviewer seeks wildly witty novel on singles scene/personal ads. Stylish prose and sense of humor preferred. Looking for fun, not longterm entanglement. Must love readers.' Respondents to such an ad might include Claire Cook, whose new novel, Must Love Dogs, tells the story of a down-to-earth divorcee seeking companionship through the personals. . ." - USA Today

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Excerpt

I decided to listen to my family and get back out there. “There’s life after divorce, Sarah,” my father proclaimed, not that he’d ever been divorced.
“The longer you wait, the harder it’ll be” was my sister Carol’s little gem, as if she had some way of knowing whether or not that was true.

After months of ignoring them, responding to a personal ad in the newspaper seemed the most detached way to give in. I wouldn’t have to sit in a restaurant with a friend of a friend of one of my brothers, probably Michael’s, but maybe Johnny’s or Billy Jr.’s, pretending to enjoy a meal I was too nervous to taste. I needn’t endure even a phone conversation with someone my sister Christine had talked into calling me. My prospect and I would quietly connect on paper or we wouldn’t. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions from the Author:

1. What scene in MUST LOVE DOGS made you laugh the hardest?


2. What gave you the biggest jolt of recognition?


3. What was your favorite "recipe" in the novel? Did you try it?


4. Which traits of the Hurlihy family are shared by all families, and which are unique to them? Does your own family have a quirky little something that might fit right in with the story? One that would top them?


5. Have you or any of your friends ever dated through the personals? Would you be more or less likely to after reading MUST LOVE DOGS?

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