Have you ever loved someone so much that their happiness becomes your top priority, even if it means sacrificing your own?
That’s exactly what Lily Bloomwood did when she met Ryle Kincaid, a neurosurgeon with a strict no-dating policy, all thanks to certain events in his past.
As Lily finds herself becoming the exception to Ryle’s rule, she can’t help but wonder why he’s so against relationships. But when her first love, Atlas Corrigan, unexpectedly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is put to the test.
In this discussion guide, we’ll have a look at some book club questions for It Ends With Us and why it’s a must-read for anyone looking for a compelling and thought-provoking exploration of love, hearbreaks, and the complexities of a failed relationship.
And in case you want to read what the book is about and know my opinion, I have a detailed blog post here – It Ends With Us Book Review.
The post might contain affiliate links. For more information, read our disclosure. Also, these questions contain spoilers.
Book Club Questions for It Ends With Us
- Lily’s encounter with Atlas in the present day brings up old feelings and memories from her past. I personally feel that she has always wondered what happened to him and if he ever thought of her. This encounter allowed her to see that Atlas is doing well, and it gives her a sense of closure that she has been searching for. However, nine years is a long time, and meeting someone all of a sudden is something that irked me.
Do you think such chance encounters with our soulmates are possible in real life? Isn’t it a bit too melodramatic?
- The novel suggests that closure and moving on from past traumas are important for personal growth and healing. Lily’s journey to find closure with her father and Atlas, allows her to come to terms with her past and to move forward in her life. It also suggests that closure doesn’t always come in the form we expect it to and that it can be a long and difficult process.
Would you like to add your inputs regarding how important it is to move on and what are some steps involved that will make it easy?
- “No one is exclusively bad, nor is anyone exclusively good. Some are just forced to work harder at suppressing the bad.”
How profound do you think this statement is? Also, what does it mean for the characters in the novel? Do you think it applicable to life outside of the novel?
- Lily wanted a committed relationship, while Ryle wanted to keep it casual but eventually agreed to be serious.
Do you think this led to a cycle of love and hate when it comes to their relationship? What are the psychological implications of maintaining such relationships?
- What do you think inspired Colleen Hoover to write such a drastic book involving trauma? How does it compare to an equally traumatic book “Verity”?
If you have read the latter, how do you think Hoover approached the story in the latter compared to the former?
- The novel challenges traditional gender roles and expectations in relationships by showing how Lily is a strong and independent woman who doesn’t need a man to complete her. She owns her own business and is capable of taking care of herself. It also calls into question the idea that women should stay in a circle of an ugly relationship because they are in love with their partner. Lily is able to recognize the signs of pain and stand up for herself, ultimately choosing to leave Ryle for her own safety and well-being.
Discuss Lily’s character based on this paragraph.
- The novel also raises important questions about gender roles and societal expectations, particularly around the idea of men as protectors and providers.
How do you think the book challenges or reinforces these ideas, and what are some of the broader implications of these themes in the context of the novel?
- Ryle’s childhood trauma, accidentally shooting his brother at the age of six, has resulted in him having uncontrollable rages throughout his life. His insecurity and jealousy over Lily’s past relationship with Atlas only exacerbates these rages, leading him to physically harming her.
In spite of that, Lily decides to give Ryle another chance at their relationship. Why do you think women often give men multiple chances and can’t escape such ugly situations?
- Despite having nothing to give, Atlas offers Lily his unwavering support and appreciation for everything she does for him. His struggles have also given him the drive to achieve success through sheer hard work and dedication, resulting in him being the owner of two successful restaurants.
Don’t you think that Atlas’s experience with homelessness was the prime reason behind shaping him into a resilient and caring person who appreciates the simple things in life?
- Finally, the book ends on a note of ambiguity, with Lily facing an uncertain future and the possibility of new challenges and struggles ahead in her life.
What did you make of the ending? How did you feel about the open-ended nature of the conclusion, and would you have preferred a more definitive resolution?
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