Lily and the Octopus

Lily and the Octopus

Lily and the Octopus is the dog book you must read this summer…a profound experience.” —The Washington Post

Combining the emotional depth of The Art of Racing in the Rain with the magical spirit of The Life of Pi, Lily and the Octopus is an epic adventure of the heart.

When you sit down with Lily and the Octopus, you will be taken on an unforgettable ride.

The magic of this novel is in the read, and we don’t want to spoil it by giving away too many details.

We can tell you that this is a story about that special someone: the one you trust, the one you can’t live without.

For Ted Flask, that someone special is his aging companion Lily, who happens to be a dog.

Lily and the Octopus reminds us how it feels to love fiercely, how difficult it can be to let go, and how the fight for those we love is the greatest fight of all.

Remember the last book you told someone they had to read?

Lily and the Octopus is the next one.

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Lily and the Octopus includes discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Steven Rowley. 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. Ted agonizes over the fact that Lily’s octopus has gone unnoticed by both of them for so long. Discuss how he internalizes his grief, transforming it into guilt. How would you react in his shoes?

2. The book is divided into eight sections, each with an octopus-related theme. What other octopus imagery and symbolism did you find in the book?

3. Ted hates “living in the not knowing” (p. 31). How does this aversion to uncertainty affect his personal relationships? Do you think this attitude changes over the course of the novel?

4. There is a level of trust shared between Ted and Lily that does not seem to extend to the humans in his life. Discuss how trust requires a kind of courage that humans find difficult to muster. Is it possible to replicate the unconditional love of a dog? Why or why not?

5. Ted notes that Lily has been the closest witness to his life. Discuss why this is clarifying for him. How can new perspectives become powerful?

6. Throu see more

About the Author

Steven Rowley
Malina Saval

Steven Rowley

Steven Rowley has worked as a freelance writer, newspaper columnist, and screenwriter. Originally from Portland, Maine, he is a graduate of Emerson College. He currently resides in Los Angeles with his boyfriend and their dog. Lily and the Octopus is his first novel. Follow him on social media @MrStevenRowley.

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