“It’s the kind of story you might expect when you think about baby boomers retraining for the second half of their lives. You can just picture her squinting at the symbols, wondering what the hell she’s going to do. ”
The men in this book – husbands and fathers – each play their own role. Would you say they played a bigger role than the children? If so, in what way? Do you think this book has important things to say to men in general? What can men learn from reading The Comeback? Do you identify any of the men with men in your own life?
How did the mother’s lives affect the daughters in this book? Does this resonate with your own experience? Were you the child of a stay-at-home mother, did your mother work at home or outside? Does she still work? Is she a role model for you? If so, as a parent or as a working woman?
Being a daughter is very different to being a mother. It’s a whole other perspective. Eventually we run our own families our own way. Do you think that being the mother of daughters has different implications than being the mother of sons? If so, how?
Each chapter tracks not just the story of a character but also how society changed throughout that time, in particular the choices that became available to women. What do you recall about those changes? How have they affected you and the choices you made?
Many of the decisions in The Comeback were made not because of the birth of a child but caused by external events. Jobs changed, moves were undertaken, relationships began and ended. Would you agree that much of life is unplanned?
Is there a balance we can achieve between riding the unplanned and controlling our destinies? If so, should we try to achieve that balance?
The author talks a lot about confidence. She believes that confidence is the key to a happy life. Do you agree? Would you say that confidence comes with perspective? Which of the characters strike you as particularly confident? Can you think of any ways to increase your own self-confidence?
What have you learned from The Comeback that you could apply to your own life? When the time comes how do you think you might deal with the choices ahead of you?
The author describes the women in the book as everywoman, not superwoman. You could be reading about yourself. Which character do you most relate to and why?
The women in The Comeback reinvented themselves again and again. The trend is increasingly that we will have more than one career. The person you are as a teenager is not the same one you will be in your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s 60’s or 70’s. What have you learned about the process that has changed the way you think about aging?