The #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us—whose writing is “emotionally wrenching and utterly original” (Sara Shepard, New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars series)—delivers a tour de force novel about a troubled marriage and the one old forgotten promise that might be able to save it.
Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.
All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. This is a heartbreaking page-turner that asks: Can a resounding love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?
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This reading group guide for All Your Perfects 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.
Quinn and Graham’s relationship had an unconventional beginning. Both reeling from having been cheated on by their significant others, they part as odd acquaintances, only to meet up again months later and start up a whirlwind romance. They fall in love quickly, their relationship so easy that it seems destined to be. But eight years into their marriage, the dreams they shared at the beginning seem impossibly out of reach, and the promises they made to one another have turned sour as they hide from each other the anguish and frustration they feel at not being able to have children. In the end, the reminder of who they were and how they felt for each other before this Category 5 struggle began might be the only way to save their marriage—or the irrefutable proof they need to end a relationship between two people who no longer recognize each other as the person they fell in love with.
Topics and Questions for Discussion
1. Sitting in the hallway outside Ethan’s apartment, Quinn cracks open a fortune cookie that reads “If you only shine light on your flaws, all your perfects will dim.” How does this foreshadow the present-day scenes in the novel? Discuss the stark contrast between the “Then” and “Now” chapters.
2. When we see them “Then,” Quinn and Graham’s relationship seems effortless. “Now,” faced with the challenges of the present that have built up over eight years of marriage, their relationship could potentially fall apart in an instant. Can a relationship based on “kismet” last the test of time?
3. What began as a beautiful dream of shared parenthood with Graham becomes a single-minded and solitary obsession with conceiving for Quinn. Discuss the differences between how she was “Then” versus “Now.” How has her self-esteem and self-perception been affected by her inability to conceive?
4. Quinn and Graham’s marital problems stem from miscommunication, misunderstandings, and secrets. Why is it so hard for Quinn to express her true feelings to Graham? Why does Graham pour his heart out in letters, only to lock them away in the box?
5. Aside from the pressure she places on herself, society’s expectations and others’ constant questions of when she and Graham will have a child of their own weigh heavily on Quinn. In what ways did this affect her pursuit of motherhood and her relationship with Graham, her sister, Ava, and others? Do you think she would have reacted differently if she’d had a better relationship with her own mother? Or a support group of women who’d gone through the same experience?
6. On page 71, as she’s getting over Ethan, Quinn thinks, “When you associate yourself with another person for so long, it’s difficult becoming your own person again.” However, think about everything Quinn has gone through to have a child with Graham. In what ways has she lost her identity to the concept of being a mother at any cost? Is she truly doing this for herself, for Graham, or for the people they imagined they would be ten years from their wedding night?
7. In Chapter Fourteen, as Graham drunkenly confesses a fraction of his frustrations with how things are between them now, Quinn retreats deeper into herself. What does this moment mean for their relationship? Discuss other ways in which this scene could have unfolded to avoid—or worsen—what followed.
8. When Graham proposes on page 213, he asks Quinn to weather the “Category 5 moments” with him. In the midst of their struggle with not being able to have children, they both seem to have forgotten that promise. What do you think led each of them to believe that it was their sole responsibility to fix things? What stopped them from having the courage to confide in and confront each other?
9. On page 11, referring to Ethan’s cheating on her with Sasha, Graham says, “Do not forgive him for this, Quinn,” but he insists that she listen to his side before making a decision about them after his own indiscretion. Compare the two instances of infidelity. Why did either man stray? Are either of them forgivable? What would you have done in Quinn’s place?
10. On page 200, an old man in his eighties who had been married for sixty years gives Quinn very honest marital advice, saying, “Our marriage hasn’t been perfect. No marriage is perfect. There were times when she gave up on us. There were even more times when I gave up on us. The secret to our longevity is that we never gave up at the same time.” How does this tie into the fortune Quinn reads at the beginning? Identify the moments in which each of them gave up. Did they ever both give up at the same time? How did that affect the outcome?
11. What role did the box play in Quinn and Graham’s relationship? Do you think all couples should go through a similar exercise?
12. If you’ve read Colleen’s Hopeless trilogy (Hopeless, Losing Hope, and Finding Cinderella), you may notice a special cameo in the Epilogue. If you know Six’s story, what could this connection potentially mean for Quinn and Graham?
Enhance Your Book Club
1. Take a moment to write a love letter to your partner, seal it in an envelope, and hide it away. Pull it out in times of distress to remind yourself of why you love them and the promises you once made to each other. Now, write a love letter to yourself. Keep it close at hand and re-read it every time you’re being particularly hard on yourself as a reminder of all the reasons why you deserve love and happiness, even in your darkest moments.
2. Have an open and honest discussion about infertility and the societal pressures placed on women to be mothers with members of your book club and/or at home with your family and friends.
3. Visit resolve.org (run by the National Infertility Association) to learn more about infertility, find and/or give support, and keep the conversation going.
4. To learn more about Colleen Hoover, check out her other books, and find her on tour, follower her on social media and visit her at http://www.colleenhoover.com/.
Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, Point of Retreat, This Girl, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Maybe Someday, Maybe Not, Ugly Love, Confess, November 9, It Ends with Us, and Without Merit. She has won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance three years in a row—for Confess (2015), It Ends with Us (2016), and Without Merit (2017). Confess was adapted into a seven-episode online series. In 2015, Colleen and her family founded The Bookworm Box, a bookstore and monthly subscription service offering signed novels donated by authors. All profits are given to various charities each month to help those in need. Colleen lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Visit ColleenHoover.com.
"Colleen Hoover returns with an emotionally raw page-turner."
– Jamie Blynn, Us Weekly
"Intimate and raw."
– USA Today
"Heart-wrenching...another fantastic read."
“Half-adorable, half gut-wrenching—and wholly a great read. Hoover captures the amazing side of a happy marriage, while at the same time connecting with the struggles of having one’s expectation of 'the perfect life' not being met.”
– Library Journal (starred review)
"With a deft hand, Colleen Hoover crafts the unraveling of a marriage with brutal, unflinching honesty. The genius is in how she stitches together the perfect ending. This is one beautiful story."
– Tracey Garvis Graves, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl He Used to Know
"A poignant love story…With Hoover’s evocative style, readers will experience the emotion of this story while sympathizing with both Quinn and Graham."
"This depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect."
– Kirkus Reviews
Praise for It Ends with Us
"What a glorious and touching read, a forever keeper. The kind of book that gets handed down."
– USA Today
“It Ends with Us tackles [a] difficult subject…with romantic tenderness and emotional heft. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author's note at the end that explains Hoover's personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read. Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.”
– Kirkus (starred review)
"Fans of Hoover's emotional stories, conflicted characters and intense romances will gleefully devour her new novel. If you're a Hoover newbie, this is a great place to start. It Ends with Us is a perfect example of the author's writing chops and her ability to weave together uplifting, romantic and somber plotlines. No matter your level of fandom, readers will love and respect protagonist Lily and learn something from her struggles."
– RT Book Reviews (4 stars)
“Best-selling Hoover’s latest valiant and compelling…novel packs her trademark emotional punch… The power and pain of the relationship will stay with readers even as Hoover offers hope.”
"It Ends with Us tackles tough subject matter with a deft and confident hand."
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