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The Next Time You See Me

The Next Time You See Me

A Novel

  • reading group guide
Hailed as “an astoundingly good novel” by Gillian Flynn, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Gone Girl, and winner of the 2014 Kentucky Literary Award, The Next Time You See Me is a gripping tale of mystery, desperation, and redemption.

When a small Southern town’s most fiery single woman is found dead in the woods, it’s not just her secrets that threaten to surface. There’s Ronnie’s sister, Susanna, a dutiful but dissatisfied schoolteacher, mother, and wife; Tony, a failed baseball star turned detective; Emily, a socially awkward thirteen-year-old with a dark secret; and Wyatt, a factory worker tormented by a past he can’t change and by a love he doesn’t think he deserves.

Connected in ways they cannot begin to imagine, their stories converge in a violent climax that reveals not just the mystery of what happened to Ronnie, but all of their secret selves. Praised as “immensely satisfying and skillful” by Kate Atkinson, author of New York Times bestseller Life After Life, The Next Time You See Me is a debut novel not to be missed.
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  • Touchstone | 
  • 400 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451683370 | 
  • February 2014
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The Next Time You See Me from Holly Goddard Jones

A debut novel by award-winning author Holly Goddard Jones, about the people surprisingly connected to the discovery of a dead woman's body in a small town.

Read an Excerpt

The Next Time You See Me
Chapter One

1.

Emily Houchens watched as Christopher Shelton, who sat in a desk two rows up and one over from her own, leaned back and smoothly slid his notebook over his shoulder, so that the boy sitting behind him could read what was written there. This second boy, Monty, began to quake with suppressed laughter. The notebook retracted; an open hand took its place, waiting expectantly, and Monty softly gave him five: Good one. Mrs. Mitchell, who was pacing in her predictable way up and down the... see more

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Next Time You See Me includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Holly Goddard Jones. 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.


Introduction

In The Next Time You See Me, the disappearance of one woman, the hard-drinking and unpredictable Ronnie Eastman, reveals the ambitions, prejudices, and anxieties of a small southern town and its residents. There’s Ronnie’s sister Susanna, a dutiful but dissatisfied schoolteacher, mother, and wife; Tony, a failed baseball star-turned-detective; Emily, a socially awkward thirteen-year-old with a dark secret; and Wyatt, a factory worker tormented by a past he can’t change and by a love he doesn’t think he deserves. Connected in ways they cannot begin to imagine, their stories converge in a violent climax that reveals not just the mystery of what happened to Ronnie but all of their secret selves.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1.Emily’s initial shock at discovering Ronnie’s body develops, over time, into an intense fascination and a sense of connection to the corpse. What do you think drives Emily back to visit the body? What motivates her see more

About the Author

Holly Goddard Jones
Photograph by Morgan Marie Photography

Holly Goddard Jones

Holly Goddard Jones is the author of the short story collection Girl Trouble. Her work has appeared in The Best American Mystery Stories, New Stories from the South, Tin House magazine, and elsewhere. She was a 2013 recipient of The Fellowship of Southern Writers’ Hillsdale Prize for Excellence in Fiction and a 2007 recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. She teaches in the creative writing program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and lives in Greensboro with her husband, Brandon, and two rowdy dogs. Visit HollyGoddardJones.com.

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