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Flirting with Pete

Flirting with Pete

A Novel

  • reading group guide
Psychologist Casey Ellis never met her father -- but that didn't stop her from following in his professional footsteps. Now he has died, and Casey is shocked to have inherited his elegant Boston town house, complete with a maid and a handsome, enigmatic gardener. When she finds a manuscript that could be a novel, a journal, or a case study of one of her father's patients in her new home, she becomes engrossed in the story of Jenny, a young woman trying to escape her troubled life. Convinced the story is true and that her father left it as a message for her, Casey digs deeper. As she pieces together the mysteries surrounding her father, Jenny, and the romantic new stranger in her life, she discovers startling links between past and present, and unexpected ties between what is real and what is imagined.
  • Pocket Books | 
  • 560 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743469845 | 
  • April 2004
List Price $11.99

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Reading Group Guide

Reading Group Guide for Flirting With Pete
1) What was your experience reading a novel that has such a unique format? How did the story within a story -- Jenny's story -- affect the pacing and the structure of Casey's story? How might the story have been different had it been told in a linear narrative, or from one point of view?
2) "But what do I do with the anger, if there's no one left to blame?" This quote comes from Joyce, one of Casey's patients. But how might it inform our reading of Casey herself? Why does Casey seem so incapable of letting go of the anger that she feels for her father? Although she is a therapist, does she sometimes seem unaware of her own emotions and motivations? What is it about the house in Beacon Hill that seems to finally break through her wall of anger?
3) On page 130, as Casey talks of one of her client's "Imposter complex", she says, "So, here she is, solidly in the black, doing better each year, and still feels like those restaurants are a deck of cards on the verge of collapse. Her parents see her that way. It's been ingrained in her." To what extent do characters in this story seem unable to break free of their past?
4) Parental judgment and familial conflict certainly play a key role in Fliritng With Pete -- there isn't a single character who isn't in some way damaged by the way that he or she was raised, although the experiences and the damage varies. In what ways do the childhood experiences of the cha see more

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About the Author

Barbara Delinsky
Jerry Bauer

Barbara Delinsky

Barbara Delinsky has written more than twenty New York Times bestselling novels, with over thirty million copies in print. Her books are highly emotional, character-driven studies of marriage, parenthood, sibling rivalry and friendship. She is also the author of a breast cancer handbook. A breast cancer survivor herself, Barbara donates her author proceeds from the book to fund a research fellowship at Massachusetts General Hostipal. Visit her at www.barbaradelinsky.com.

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