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After I Do

After I Do

A Novel

  • reading group guide
From the author of Forever, Interrupted—hailed by Sarah Jio as “moving, gorgeous, and at times heart-wrenching”—comes a breathtaking new novel about modern marriage, the depth of family ties, and the year that one remarkable heroine spends exploring both.

When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.

Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?

This is a love story about what happens when the love fades. It’s about staying in love, seizing love, forsaking love, and committing to love with everything you’ve got. And above all, After I Do is the story of a couple caught up in an old game—and searching for a new road to happily ever after.
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  • Washington Square Press | 
  • 352 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476712840 | 
  • July 2014
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for After I Do includes discussion questions and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.



Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. Read through Lauren’s flashbacks of her and Ryan’s relationship, leading up to the night of the Dodgers game. At what point did you notice a shift in their dynamic? Discuss with the group.

2. Early in the novel, Lauren playfully says of Ryan–“He always loved making me say the things he wanted to say.” In what ways does this become a loaded assessment of their relationship?

3. Turn to page 135, when Lauren and her mother are discussing marriage. Lauren says that she doesn’t want to fail at her marriage, which her mother dismisses: “If you stay married for a number of years and you have a happy time together and then you decide you don’t want to be married anymore and you choose to go be happy with someone else or doing something else, that’s not a failure.” Do you agree with her?

4. Even though the underlying question of the narrative is whether Lauren and Ryan’s marriage will survive, Ryan himself is not an active character for the majority of the see more

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About the Author

Taylor Jenkins Reid
Photograph by Mila Shah

Taylor Jenkins Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author and essayist from Acton, Massachusetts. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alex, and her dogs, Rabbit and Rex. You can follow her on Twitter @TJenkinsReid.

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