Scientists say every action
initiates an equal and opposite
reaction. I say that’s just the start.
every action initiates a most
unequal and unpredictable
chain reaction, that
filament of living becomes
part of a larger weave, while
remaining identifiable. That each
of latitude requires several
stripes of longitude to obtain
meaning. That every universe
of a bigger heaven, a heaven
of rhythm and geometry,
where a heartbeat is the apex
of a triangle.
© 2011 Ellen Hopkins
Holly is filled with regret after eighteen years at home with her three children. She sheds sixty pounds and loses herself in the world of extramarital sex. Andrea is a single mom watching her friend Holly’s meltdown with a mixture of concern and contempt. Holly is throwing away what Andrea has spent her whole life searching for. So what if she picks up Holly’s castaway husband? Marissa has more than her fair share of challenges—a gay, rebellious teenage son; a terminally ill daughter; and a husband who buries himself in his work.
As one woman’s marriage unravels, another’s rekindles. As one woman’s family comes apart at the seams, another’s reconfigures into something bigger and better. In this story of connections and disconnections, one woman’s up is another one’s down, and all of them will learn the meaning of friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness.
Unflinchingly honest, emotionally powerful, surprisingly erotic, Triangles is the ultimate page-turner, told in gorgeous, expertly honed poetic verse that perfectly captures the inner lives of Hopkins’s unforgettable characters.
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Reading Group Guide
This reading group guide for Triangles includes an introduction, 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.
Triangles is the story of three women, all facing middle age. As one woman’s marriage unravels, another one’s rekindles. As one woman’s family comes apart at the seams, another’s is reconfigured into something bigger and better. In this story of connections and disconnections, one woman’s up is another one’s down, and all three of them will soon learn the meaning of friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. Describe your experience of reading Triangles, a novel in verse. How was the reading experience unique, and how was it similar to reading a regular novel? Did it go more slowly or more quickly than you expected? Did it inspire you to try out poetry-writing yourself? Why or why not??
2. Near the beginning and at the very end of Triangles, Holly and Andrea have the same thought, "about / how, while parallel lines may not / intersect, parallel lives too often do." (pages 7 and 528) How do Holly, Andrea, and Marissa’s lives intersect? How ma see more