♦ Contraception allows women to control their fertility but does society? How much have women really gained in regard to choosing to be mothers or choosing to remain child-free? (You may want to look up former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech.)
♦ Freya talks about the “burden of choice’ around the decision of having a child. Does this choice make it easier or harder for women?
♦ The desire for a child can be so strong that some people will go to great lengths to have one. Discuss the rights of the child in regards to donor eggs and donor sperm.
♦ Anyone not intimate with assisted human reproduction may think of it as an easy solution to a problem, but like all technology it comes with its own sets of positives and negatives and the law is constantly struggling to catch up. Posthumous sperm retrieval remains contentious. In the novel, Freya was the only person to defend Jamie’s rights. Why do you think other people chose to ignore them?
♦ Why is it that total strangers feel they can touch pregnant women’s bellies without permission?
♦ Compared to fifty years ago, motherhood today comes with incredible societal expectations. Would you agree that society judges a woman’s parenting far more harshly than a man’s? If yes, why do you think this is?
♦ In society, women who choose to be childfree are frequently labelled as selfish and yet many are also caring for family members or others in the community, which is the antithesis of selfish. Why do you think this belief exists?
♦ Jamie's storyline was drawn from real life, such as true stories of people who have led secret lives for years, their spouses having no idea until after their deaths. How hard do you think it is to reconcile the person they knew with the secret life? Does it destroy the memory and the life they shared with them?
♦ Addiction is a disease that impacts on families in many difficult ways including relationships, finances and safety. In the novel, Lexie’s illness changes Freya’s life. Discuss the ways each family member may struggle with a loved-one’s addiction.
♦ In marriage/lifelong partnerships you and your partner become one emotional unit, both receptive and responsive to the other. It can be easy to forget you are still an individual within and outside your relationship, so where does one draw the line between compromise and self-sacrifice?
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