- In the prologue, we get a description of Sweet Home. What is your first impression of the small town?
- When Berlin first sees Iva again after seven years, he’s nervous. Do you think it’s possible to still have the same feelings for someone after so many years?
- We don’t know that Iva is leaving for New Zealand when she stumbles upon Berlin again, but she does. Does this fact make her hesitations more reasonable? Would you have been hesitant to start anything with Berlin?
- Iva’s father isn’t too keen on Berlin. Can you see his side?
- When Berlin takes Iva to the lighthouse on the bluff in Channing, he says he likes to believe it’s Mr. Keeper’s lighthouse. Why do you think this is? Why do you think he has a sentimental connection to Sweet Home?
- When Berlin asks Iva to stay and make a life with him, Iva agrees. Would you have made the same decision? Would you have agreed so quickly?
- When Berlin proposes to Iva, he also tells Iva her mom’s story about her first love. How does Iva’s mother's life parallel Iva’s life?
- When Iva and Berlin tell Iva’s parents that she is planning on moving to Channing with Berlin, Iva says that her father was swayed by the fact that Berlin looks a different way now. What part does appearance play in Berlin and Iva’s father’s relationship? Do you think living in a small town affects her father’s perception of Berlin?
- Was Berlin trouble for Iva in his youth or was he just being young?
- How does Iva cope with giving up/postponing her dream after she moves to Channing? How would you have dealt with it? Did she finally make the right decision in going to New Zealand?
- Did Iva and Berlin try hard enough to make their relationship work after Iva moved to New Zealand? Did Iva give up too fast? Did Berlin? And did they ever really give up?
- When Iva sees Berlin at Natalie and Isaac’s engagement party, she questions Berlin about his tattoo. What is the meaning behind the inked word on his arm? What does this say about their relationship?
- What do you think it means that Iva chose the art pieces that she did to give to Berlin?
- We learn that Berlin had bought a ticket to New Zealand? Would you have done the same—knowing Iva was already engaged?
- When Berlin is looking at the painting that Iva gave him, he is thinking about not having to look back on the life he and Iva almost had. Do you think that our paths in life are that close—that one decision can change everything? Or do you believe (like Iva) that it all ends the way it was intended?
- Iva tells Berlin that she couldn’t marry Adam. What do you think changed her mind?
- Do you believe that second chances, when it comes to love, are all they’re cracked up to be?
- In the epilogue, Iva says that she is finally home. What do you think she means by this?
I write about rain on tin roofs, gravel roads, old trucks with holes in the floorboards and small-town summer nights. I grew up on a farm in a little Midwestern town. Now, I live in Kansas City, Mo., with my weatherman husband.
Laura Miller's first contemporary romance novel, Butterfly Weeds, hit the Amazon Best-Seller's List and Top 100 in October 2012. The sequel to Butterfly Weeds, My Butterfly, released in June 2013. For All You Have Left, By Way of Accident, When Cicadas Cry and A Bird on a Windowsill followed. Look for The Life We Almost Had, releasing Sept. 19.