I Couldn't Love You More

By Jillian Medoff
Publisher:5 Spot, (5/15/2012)

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Which child would you save? A decision no parent can even fathom.

Eliot Gordon would do anything for her family. A 38-year-old working mother, she lives an ordinary but fulfilling life in suburban Atlanta with her partner, Grant Delaney, and their three daughters. The two older girls are actually Eliot's stepdaughters, a distinction she is reluctant to make as she valiantly attempts to maintain a safe, happy household . . .

Then Finn Montgomery, Eliot's long-lost first love, appears, triggering a shocking chain of events that culminates in a split-second decision that will haunt her beloved family forever. How Eliot survives-and what she loses in the process-is a story that will resonate with anyone who has ever loved a child. With hilarious honesty, wrenching depth, and a knockout twist, I COULDN'T LOVE YOU MORE illuminates the unbreakable bonds of family and reveals the lengths we'll go to save each other, even as we can't save ourselves.
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"I Couldn't Love You More"
By Jillian Medoff

Average Rating:

This book has not been rated

The Gentleman
The Gentleman
By Forrest Leo

 General reading guide discussion questions to be used with ANY book your book club or reading group might be discussing.

1. One of the many themes in I Couldn’t Love You More is the idea that the choices we make have consequences that reverberate long into the future. How do each of the characters’ choices impact what happens in the book? Do you think the consequences of their choices will have a long-term effect? Have any of the choices you’ve made in your own life had long-term consequences? Did you ever make a decision you wished you could undo?

2. Eliot is the eldest of three sisters, each of whom has her own distinct personality. Do you think their personalities are a result of their birth order? How do their personalities change over the course of the book? When you were growing up, how did birth order affect you and your siblings?

3. At the beginning of the book, Eliot refers to herself as a “good girl.” Given what happens in the novel, is she a reliable narrator? What does it mean to be “good” in the context of the story? Is Eliot a “good” mother? Is Beth? Is Dolores? Conversely, is Sylvia a “bad” girl? Do you think she will be a “bad” mother?

4. When Finn shows up in Eliot’s life, she is left very unsettled. Do you think their relationship was as unresolved for him as it was for her? In general, do you think women pine for men more than men pine for women, or is it mutual? Do you wonder about anyone from your own past? What do you think would happen if he/she showed up?

5. Early in the book, Eliot discusses the concept of having a favorite child. When you were growing up, did you feel there was a favored child in your family? How was this manifested? If you have children of your own, do you find it hard not to play favorites?

6. In the first half of this novel, the story focuses on Eliot’s relationships with her sisters, her husband Grant, and her ex-boyfriend Finn. By the midpoint, the story veers off in a different direction. Did the book’s climax catch you off-guard, or were you expecting it? In what other ways did the novel overturn your original expec- tations?

7. The central conflict of this novel revolves around Eliot having to make an unfathomable choice between two children. Can you imagine making a similar choice or is this simply unimaginable?

8. In most of the stories we read, stepmothers are depicted as selfish women who resent their stepchildren. In I Couldn’t Love You More, the author introduces a stepmother who genuinely loves her stepchildren and does her best to care for them. Is this a realistic portrait of a family, or is it idealized? Are you a stepparent? If not, do you know any blended families? Do blended families have the same types of issues as regular families? In what ways do they dif- fer?

9. The narrator uses humor throughout the book, even in very dra- matic scenes. Does this enhance or detract from the story? Do you prefer books that are either very funny or very sad, or do you like a combination of both?

10. Eliot’s mother, Dolores, is a memoirist. In this novel, Eliot discusses how ashamed she felt as an adolescent knowing that her mother wrote about her family’s personal lives. Have you read any memoirs in which an author discusses his or her living family members? What do you think about this? Does a memoirist have a responsibility to tell the truth, regardless if the person he or she is writing about gets hurt, or are some details better left unsaid?

11. In this novel, the author explores the idea of personal privacy. At one point, Eliot and her stepdaughter Charlotte argue about Charlotte’s Internet usage. Eliot believes that posting personal details on the Internet is dangerous and destructive, whereas Charlotte simply sees it as a means of communicating with her friends. Do you think Eliot is overreacting, or do you think she is justified? Do you and/or your children use social networking sites? Why or why not?

12. Late in the novel, when Eliot rereads her mother’s memoirs, she says the experience of reading them as an adult was entirely different than reading them as an adolescent. Why do you think this is? As an adult, have you reexperienced any of your favorite childhood books or movies? Did they seem different from when you read/saw them years ago?

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