The Role of Women/Mothers
Marilyn has become the polar opposite of what she intended to become. Her goal in attending college was to become a physician and yet almost immediately she falls into a relationship with James. How much of this was self-fulfillment? She does spend a great deal of time looking back and regretting her decision, or does she? Do you think that she is able to reflect upon where she ended up (as a stay-at-home mother) and realize that she is responsible? She does try to find a job on campus but never follows up until years later. Why?
Marilyn does converse with James about her desire to be more than a mom. What motivates James to encourage and support Marilyn to stay home?
The Betty Crocker Cookbook becomes a touchstone of sorts for many of the characters – Marilyn and her mother, Lydia and Marilyn, and last but not least Hannah. What is the author trying to convey?
One of the most heartbreaking moments in the novel for me was when Marilyn finally finds the cookbook in Lydia’s room. Is there a moment in the novel that deeply affected you?