Maybe This Time Reader’s Guide

With a big thank you to Eric Clapton, Cyndi Lauper, Jackson Browne, and everybody else who provided music for the Maybe This Time soundtrack..

  1. Layla (Eric Clapton): Andie in 1982 was headstrong and impulsive; after all, she married North after knowing him for only a day. But as the book opens ten years later, she’s changed; as North says, when he fell in love with her in ’82, he heard the original “Layla;” when he sees her in ’92, he hears the acoustic version. How has she changed, and how does a month in the country change her ever more that the previous ten years? Why?
  2. Man in Love (Eric Clapton): North is really laid back, so far back he’s in the shadows, and it doesn’t help that Maybe This Time is not a romance novel, so North had to work within a romantic subplot. Did you find the romance believable? Satisfying? Did he work for you as a romantic hero or was he just too detached?
  3. Girls Just Want To Have Fun (Cyndi Lauper): Did you feel sympathy for May? Did you feel she was a fully developed character, something beyond the ghost that goes bump in the night?
  4. Somebody’s Baby (Jackson Browne): Alice lost her mother at birth, her father and her grandfather at six, and her aunt at seven. That’s a lot of death and a lot of abandonment. Do you feel she was portrayed realistically given her circumstances? What about her relationship with Miss J? May? Her relationship with Andie is arguably the most important relationship in the story. Did you find it realistic? Compelling? What impact did it have on Andie? On Alice?
  5. Any Day Now (Ronnie Milsap): Carter got short shrift for most of this story because he’s so withdrawn mainly because he thinks he’s doomed and he expects people to leave him. Did it bother you that Andie took so long to recognize that he was in trouble, too? Did his relationship with Andie and then later with North change him and them? Did you find those relationships believable? What about his relationship with Alice?
  6. Baby Mine (Bonnie Raitt): The ghosts had each chosen a child before Andie got there. What was Miss J’s relationship (if you can call it that) with Alice? What did she need from Alice? What did Peter need from Carter? Did you find them pitiful or frightening? Why? What impact did the fact that they were haunting children have on your perception?
  7. Make A Move On Me (Olivia Newton-John): Andie ends up with two ghost experts on her hands: Isolde, a medium who knows there are ghosts, and Dennis, a parapsychologist who doesn’t believe. What did they add to the story? Were both necessary? What did you think of where they ended in their relationship to the Archers, to each other, and to the world?
  8. Lawyers in Love (Jackson Browne): The Archers are not good at marriage. North neglects his for work, Southie avoids the institution like the plague, and Lydia cheats on her husband with his ne’er-do-well brother. What’s wrong with these people?
  9. Time After Time (Cyndi Lauper): This book was written as an homage to Henry James’s Turn of the Screw. What echoes from that story are in the book? What things are the same? What things are completely different, so much so as to be the exact opposite of the book?
  10. Everything Changes (Kathy Troccoli): This book takes place over one month, but in the course of that month the lives of almost everyone in the story are irrevocably changed. Did you find that believable?
  11. SheBop (Cyndi Lauper): What question do you want to ask? It’s all about you on this one.