Have you ever dropped the airs and graces and publically told people what you really think of them? Like all of your people, all at once? At her 50th birthday party, Ruby, the hero of Kathy Lette’s Husband Replacement Therapy, accidentally does exactly that. Oh, and she also tells everyone she has terminal cancer. And accuses her husband of having an affair. And announces she’s cashed in her life savings and is taking her sisters cruising into the sunset… All of a sudden there’s a whole lot going in in Ruby’s life, and every detail is rife for picking over in a memorable reading group discussion. Here are some questions to get you started.
Discussion points and questions:
- There is a growing trend for women to leave their marriages in their 50s. Why do you think this may be?
- Do you think menopause is discussed – publically and/or privately – enough, too much, not at all? What is behind this?
- What would be the first things you would do if you received a health prognosis that was not conducive to a long life?
- In HRT there is some strong commentary on helicopter parenting, suggesting it discourages one’s children from growing up and leaving home. Would you concur or disagree with the author here?
- How do you feel about Ruby’s behaviour – at sea and at home – were you cheering for her? Wishing she would come clean? Or, a bit of both?
- Beneath the bawdy humour of HRT, there is some strong and poignant messaging for busy women running families, homes and careers. What were your takeaways from HRT?
- Novels featuring sisters are eternally popular. What is it about this type of sibling relationship that is so appealing to readers?
- There is a reading group in the novel whose members are accused of only pretending to read the books they talk about. It’s time to come clean: have you ever done this? Be honest! And remember: whatever is discussed at book club, stays at book club.