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The Unbreakables by Lisa Barr is full of heartbreak, healing and hope. The following book club questions will have spoilers so be sure to check out my spoiler-free review first.
It’s Sophie Bloom’s forty-second birthday, and she’s ready for a night of celebration with Gabe, her longtime, devoted husband, and her two besties and their spouses. Dinner is served with a side of delicious gossip, including which North Grove residents were caught with their pants down on Ashley Madison after the secret on-line dating site for married and committed couples was hacked. Thirty-two million cheaters worldwide have been exposed…including Sophie’s “perfect” husband. To add insult to injury, she learns Gabe is the top cheater in their town.
Humiliated and directionless, Sophie jumps into the unknown and flees to France to meet up with her teenage daughter who is studying abroad and nursing her own heartbreak. After a brief visit to Paris, Sophie heads out to the artist enclave of Saint-Paul-de-Vence. There, for the first time in a long time, Sophie acknowledges her own desires—not her husband’s, not her daughter’s—and rediscovers her essence with painful honesty and humor, reawakening both her sensuality and ambitions as a sculptor.
As she sheds her past and travels the obstacle-filled off beaten path, Sophie Bloom is determined to blossom. Allowing her true self to emerge in the postcard beauty of Provence, Sophie must decide what is broken forever…and what it means to be truly unbreakable.
Book club questions for The Unbreakables
- The books starts off with Sophie’s birthday party, which ends up being the worst birthday that someone can have. Let’s discuss the opening scenes. How did you feel as you read it?
- Let’s talk more about the betrayal from Gabe. What the hell was going on with him? What would you have done/said to Gabe if you were Sophie?
- The betrayal isn’t just from her husband but also secrets from Samantha and Lauren. Sophie even remarks that the betrayal from her friends is worst than from her husband. Do you agree with her on that? Why do you think her friends kept the affair between Lauren and Gabe a secret?
- Sophie leaves behind Chicago to be with her daughter Ava in France. And Ava is also in crisis: she thinks she might be pregnant with her teacher’s child. How do you think Sophie handled all of that?
- Eventually, Sophie finds herself in the artistic hub of Saint-Paul-de-Vence. This is where she really embraces temptations and unearths her sensuality with the younger couple Jean-Paul and Lea. Let’s discuss how Sophie gave into her desires. How did it change her?
- Sophie also reclaims her passion for sculpting. Why do you think Sophie stopped sculpting—was it just because of injury to her hands or was it something more? Why is now the right time for her to get back into it?
- What did you think about all the scenes dedicated to art and with Nathalie as Sophie works on the sculpture?
- What are some of the key things that Sophie learned about herself on this journey in France?
- Sophie return to Chicago is quite eventful: she finds out the truth behind Lauren’s affair with Gabe and that Lauren actually had a crush on Sophie along. And Sophie sleeps with Gabe for one last time. What did you think about this visit? In what ways did it provide closure for Sophie?
- The story finishes with Nathalie and Sophie’s sculpture, Eve, on full display for the world to see. And we also learn that Sophie plans to stay in France for the intermediate future. Let’s talk about how France became a home for her.
- And now let’s discuss her potential new love interest: Luc! What do you think about this romance?
- What does the term “Unbreakable” mean in the context of this story?
- If this novel is made into a movie or TV series, who would you cast for the lead roles (Sophie, Gabe, Ava, Olivier and Luc)?
What to read next
Fiction about women written by women is such a fantastic genre! Here are some more that your book club should check out:
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid is a compelling and heartfelt story about the rise of a ’70s rock band and their infamous breakup. The following book club questions will have spoilers so if you haven’t read the book yet, check out my preview and review first.
The story is about the fictional iconic band, Daisy Jones & The Six. Their album Aurora came to define the rock ‘n’ roll era of the late ’70s and an entire generation of girls wanted to be Daisy. But no one knows the reason behind the group’s split on the night of their final concert at Chicago Stadium on July 12, 1979…until now
You can order the book on Amazon here. Check out my discussion questions here.
I’m Fine and Neither Are You by Camille Pagán is a look at the challenges for modern women.
The story follows Penelope—a wife, mother and the breadwinner of her house. While she proclaims she’s “fine,” in reality; she’s barely holding it together. She’s able to vent her frustrations to her best friend Jenny, even though it seems Jenny is sailing through life. As close as the two women are, Jenny’s passionate marriage, pristine house, and ultra-polite child stand in stark contrast to Penelope’s underemployed husband, Sanjay, their unruly brood and the daily grind she calls a career.
Then a shocking tragedy reveals that Jenny’s life is far from perfect. Reeling, Penelope vows to stop keeping the peace and finally deal with the issues in her relationship. So she and Sanjay agree to a radical proposal: both will write a list of changes they want each other to make—then commit to complete and total honesty. But both quickly wonder if honesty is the best policy?
You can order the book on Amazon here. Find my discussion questions here.