Forever, Interrupted

Forever, Interrupted

A Novel

  • reading group guide
“Have you ever heard of supernovas? They shine brighter than anything else in the sky and then fade out really quickly, a short burst of extraordinary energy. I like to think you and Ben were like that . . . in that short time, you had more passion than some people have in a lifetime.”

Elsie Porter is an average twentysomething and yet what happens to her is anything but ordinary. On a rainy New Year’s Day, she heads out to pick up a pizza for one. She isn’t expecting to see anyone else in the shop, much less the adorable and charming Ben Ross. Their chemistry is instant and electric. Ben cannot even wait twenty-four hours before asking to see her again. Within weeks, the two are head over heels in love. By May, they’ve eloped.

Only nine days later, Ben is out riding his bike when he is hit by a truck and killed on impact. Elsie hears the sirens outside her apartment, but by the time she gets downstairs, he has already been whisked off to the emergency room. At the hospital, she must face Susan, the mother-in-law she has never met—and who doesn’t even know Elsie exists.

Interweaving Elsie and Ben’s charmed romance with Elsie and Susan’s healing process, Forever, Interrupted will remind you that there’s more than one way to find a happy ending.
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  • Washington Square Press | 
  • 352 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476712826 | 
  • July 2013
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Read an Excerpt

Forever, Interrupted JUNE
Have you decided if you’re going to change your name?” Ben asks me. He is sitting on the opposite end of the couch, rubbing my feet. He looks so cute. How did I end up with someone so goddamn cute?

“I have an idea,” I tease. But I have more than an idea. My face breaks into a smile. “I think I’m gonna do it.”

“Really?” he asks, excitedly.

“Would you want that?” I ask him.

“Are you kidding?” he... see more
Forever, Interrupted DECEMBER
It was New Year’s Eve and Ana and I had this great plan. We were going to go to this party to see this guy she had been flirting with at the gym, and then we were going to leave at 11:30 p.m. We wanted to drive to the beach, open a bottle of champagne together, and ring in the new year tipsy and drenched in sea spray.

Instead, Ana got too drunk at the party, started making out with the guy from the gym, and disappeared for a few hours. This was fairly typical of Ana and something that I... see more

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Forever, Interrupted 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. The plot of Forever, Interrupted isn’t strictly linear and, instead, alternates between Ben and Elsie’s courtship and Elsie’s mourning. How did this affect your reading experience? Why do you think the author made this narrative choice?

2. At various points throughout the novel, Elsie and Ben voice the concern that perhaps their relationship is progressing too quickly. Before reading this, would you have thought that two people could be ready to marry after six months of dating? Did Forever, Interrupted affect your opinion one way or another?

3. Romantic love may seem like the driving force behind Forever, Interrupted, but in what ways does friendship also shape the novel? In particular, how does seeing Elsie in the role of a friend—and not just as Ben’s girlfriend and wife— add to our understanding of her? What do her interactions with Ana, as well as with Mr. Callahan, reveal about her as a character?

4. Elsie is furious with Ana when she tries to give her see more

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 graduated from Emerson College with a degree in Media Studies. Her first novel, Forever, Interrupted, was named one of the “11 Debuts We Love” by Kirkus Reviews. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alex, and her dog, Rabbit. You can follow her on Twitter @TJenkinsReid.

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