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  • Liza Malloy

Book Club Discussion Questions- The Brothers' Band

*** These questions contain spoilers. Do NOT read these questions before finishing the book

1) What do you think about Lily’s rule about never dating musicians? Do you think she was justified in coming up with such a rule? Why do you think she made an exception for Dylan? Do you think her stereotype was legitimate? Are there any stereotypes you personally believe to be true and if so, has anyone ever proved you wrong? Do you have any dating or relationship rules and if so, have you ever broken them?

2) Dylan comments at one point about the irony of Lily working at a travel agency but never traveling. How do you think Lily’s desire to see the world influenced her choices throughout the book?

3) At the start of the book, Lily prides herself on her independence. So why do you think she becomes dependent on Dylan so quickly? How do you think this affects the outcome of the story?

4) How does Lily’s love of classic literature play into the plot of the book or enhance the story?

5) Each chapter begins with a literary quote. Some of the quotes foreshadowed the events of the ensuing chapter(s) while others didn’t have as obvious of a connection. Discuss whether you thought the quotes overall enhanced the story or distracted from it. Were any of the quotes particularly memorable to you? Did any of the quotes cue you in to any plot nuances or other details you hadn’t already noticed?

6) What is your impression of Thomas? Why does he defend his brother early on, then betray him, then encourage Lily to leave them both? Do you think Thomas actually expected Lily to leave and cut off communication? Were his motives pure?

7) By the end of the book, it is revealed that Thomas is the narrator of the Prologue and Epilogue. Did you suspect this earlier? Why do you think his narration is included when the majority of the book is told from Lily’s perspective with nothing from Dylan’s point of view?

8) What do you think would have happened if Lily had not gotten pregnant? Do you think she still would have left Dylan? Do you think Dylan would have ever learned about her affair with Thomas?

9) Who was the villain of this story? All of the characters made mistakes, but were any truly more unforgiveable than others? And if so, why?

10) The book delves into the all-too common interplay between drug abuse and domestic violence. Did you view Dylan and Lily’s relationship as an abusive one? Did their relationship differ from what you typically picture when you hear about abuse? How did this situation change your opinion of Dylan? Of Lily?

11) What do you imagine would have happened if Dylan had not gone to rehab?

12) What do you think would have happened if Lily met Thomas first?

13) How do you think the childhood trauma of losing a sister impacted Thomas and Dylan? Why do you think they each responded to this grief differently?

14) When Dylan sends Lily money for Lucy but neglects to tell his brother he has a child, do you think he feels this is an equal and just punishment for what Thomas did? Do you agree or disagree? Why?

15) When Lily and Lucy return to town, why do you think Dylan tells Thomas that he can’t father children after keeping the secret for so long? Was this timing cruel or merciful?

16) Do you agree with Lily’s decision to return to the City and let the brothers get to know Lucy?

17) The book involved many relationships, but which of the two central relationships was the most powerful—the romantic relationship or the brotherhood? How did the interplay between these two key relationships change or progress the story?

18) What do you hope to see happen in the sequel???

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