Things to Do When It's Raining

Things to Do When It's Raining

When secrets tear love apart, can the truth mend it?—from The Globe and Mail–bestselling author Marissa Stapley.

When secrets tear love apart, can the truth mend it?

Mae Summers and Gabe Broadbent grew up together in the idyllic Summers’ Inn, perched at the edge the St. Lawrence River. Mae was orphaned at the age of six and Gabe needed protection from his alcoholic father, so both were raised under one roof by Mae’s grandparents, Lily and George. A childhood friendship quickly developed into a first love—a love that was suddenly broken by Gabe’s unexpected departure. Mae grew up and got over her heartbreak, and started a life for herself in New York City.

After more than a decade, Mae and Gabe find themselves pulled back to Alexandria Bay by separate forces. Hoping to find solace within the Summers’ Inn, Mae instead finds her grandparents in the midst of decline and their past unravelling around her. A lifetime of secrets that implicate Gabe and Mae’s family reveal a version of the past that will forever change Mae’s future.

From the bestselling author of Mating for Life comes a poignant generational story about family and secrets. With honesty and heart, Marissa Stapley reminds us of the redemptive power of love and forgiveness, and that, ultimately, family is a choice.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 272 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501131868 | 
  • February 2018
List Price $22.00 (price may vary by retailer)

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Reading Group Guide

Things to Do When It's Raining
Marissa Stapley
Reading Group Guide

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. What does “family” mean to you? Is family something you’re born into or something you can create?

2. Describe the relationship Mae and her fiancé, Peter, had. Do you believe he ever loved her? What does Mae learn from their interactions?

3. The St. Lawrence River is a character in and of itself in this novel. How would you describe its role in the story and its effect on the various characters?

4. Do you think it’s possible for teenage sweethearts to pick up where they left off? How do time and maturity change our outlook on life and our relationships with others?

5. What role do love and jealousy play in the novel?

6. Gabe comes from a family that has a legacy of alcoholism and abuse. How does he view himself in light of that? Do you think that makes him a different person than he might otherwise have been? How does his past affect the decisions he makes?

7. Lilly hurt George by accidentally revealing the truth about Virginia’s paternity. What would you have done in George’s situation? Was Lilly was right to have hidden the truth from him all these years?

8. Lilly’s actions have an enormous effect on her granddaughter’s life. In your opinion, were those actions justified? Why do you think she tells Gabe “Mae is not for you&rdquo see more

More Books from this Author

The Look Book
Mating for Life

About the Author

Marissa Stapley
(c) Eugene Choi

Marissa Stapley

Marissa Stapley is the author of the bestselling novel Mating for Life and Things to Do When It's Raining, which has been published in nine countries and translated into seven languages. Her journalism has appeared in newspapers and magazines across North America. She lives in Toronto with her family. Visit her at or follow her on Twitter @MarissaStapley.