> Skip to content

Book clubs  •  4 April 2019


A Lifetime of Impossible Days book club notes

Treat your book club to Tabitha Bird’s magical, one-of-a-kind debut.

If you could alter the plotline of your life, would you do it? In Tabitha Bird’s A Lifetime of Impossible Days, Willa Waters is given the opportunity to do just that. But are events the most important signposts of our histories? Or is it the stories we tell ourselves about these events that define us? Either way, A Lifetime of Impossible Days will open up a memorable reading group discussion.

Discussion points and questions:

  1. Willa time-travels between three different stages of her life. If you could travel back in time, what would you tell your younger self?
  2. A mysterious box was sent to eight-year-old Willa. If you could send a box of items backwards or forwards in time, what would you send? To whom, and why?
  3. What do you think gumboots represent for each of the three Willas? Eight-year-old Willa calls herself Super Gumboots Willa, for example. Did you have a special childhood nickname for yourself?
  4. Why do you think it’s an ocean that is sent in the jar? Discuss whether the ocean or any other place holds special significance for you.
  5. There is a saying that time heals all wounds, but can time on its own ever be enough?
  6. The Willas often bake jam drops as a source of comfort. Are there any foods you like to bake or eat that evoke special memories for you?
  7. What lies did Middle Willa believe and how did they affect her choices as a parent and her relationship with Sam? What lies must she challenge, and why?
  8. Silver Willa is constantly battling time. It flies, runs out and can’t be bought. What is your own relationship with time?
  9. If you had your own notebook titled Things I Am Sure Of, what would you write in it?
  10. There is an invitation to meet your younger self at the back of this book. Do you think it’s possible to spend time with our younger selves? If you could, what would you say or do?
  11. Have we as a society become more aware of families in crisis? Why or why not?
  12. The Willas love Chihuahuas. Have you ever owned a pet that’s had an impact on your life? How so?

Feature Title

A Lifetime of Impossible Days
Tabitha Bird’s stunning debut is a magical, life-affirming novel about heartbreak, healing and learning to forgive yourself.
Read more

More features

See all
Book clubs
The Emporium of Imagination book club notes

A beautiful and uplifting story to share with your reading group.

Letters to my younger selves

A Lifetime of Impossible Days author, Tabitha Bird, pens letters to her five, fifteen and twenty-five-year-old selves.

The medicine of book friends

Four books that left their mark on A Lifetime of Impossible Days author Tabitha Bird.

On the wings of words

Tabitha Bird celebrates the magical healing powers of writing.

Tabitha Bird's inspiration

The Emporium of Imagination author on the power of magical realism.

Rachael Johns shares her trick for getting words onto the page

We caught up with Rachael Johns to learn about her writing routines, favourite rom-coms and new book The Other Bridget.

The 10 bestselling fiction books of 2023

Check out our top-selling fiction books this year.

Some of the most anticipated books of 2024

From authors including Rachael Johns, Amor Towles, Leigh Bardugo and so many others!

The best books to read with your book club in spring 2023

These are the Penguin Random House books that over 48,000 book clubs voted as the best group reads this October.

A useful guide to Anne Enright

A guide to author Anne Enright and her books.

Didn't get to Europe this year? These 3 books will transport you there

Revisit three Amanda Hampson books to experience European summer from the comfort of your living room.

Contemplating a life change? You need to read this cosy Japanese fiction

Reviewers agree – if you’re feeling in a rut, it’s time to read What You Are Looking For is in the Library. Learn more and see what readers are saying about it.

Looking for more book club notes?

See all book club notes