Book Club Questions
1. Charity was a “runaway bride.” Have you ever known such a bride? Perhaps been one yourself? Under the same circumstances, would you have gone through with the wedding? Or would you have risked scandal as Charity did?
2. What’s your first impression of Gabe? Is it positive? Negative? Do you believe him when he keeps saying he’s not going to keep the dog he rescued? Do you believe he’s as commitment-phobic as he claims? Is his loner personality part of a defense system he’s spent a lifetime building? What does his coming to Shelter Bay, on a mission he would rather avoid for a fellow Marine, say about his sense of loyalty?
3. Have you ever adopted a rescued or pound dog? If so, do you believe they know, in some way, that you’re their rescuer? (Full disclosure – we’ve always had rescues, and currently have three; Shadow, our own formerly abused Shih Tzu/poodle, was the model for Gabe’s dog.)
4. Despite lifelong problems with his mentally ill mother, Johnny refuses to give up on the dream that someday she might get better and the three of them can be a real family. Do you suspect this is a common hope/dream of foster children? Do you believe Johnny’s hope is realistic?
5. Johnny and Gabe each go out of their way in the beginning to act super-casual with each other. Do you sense their relationship growing as events unfold?
6. Adèle is understandably upset about how her medical condition has changed her day-to-day life, including the way other people might perceive her. Have you ever had a life-altering illness? Or known someone who has? Can you identify with her feelings?
7. Amanda defines high maintenance. But despite being self-centered and flighty, did you sense that she honestly cares for Charity? And can you understand how Charity could continue to love her despite her flaws? In what ways did Amanda come through for her daughter?
8. Charity and Gabe have their first serious argument over Johnny and Angel. Do you agree with either (or both) positions?
9. The idea of family is an ongoing theme of One Summer. Is a family based solely on blood ties? Or can one be created by individuals with love, caring, and a commitment to forging a familial bond?
10. What do you think the future holds for Gabe and Charity? How about Johnny and Angel?