Things to think and talk about after reading The Paris Effect:

  1. At the beginning of the book, Amy is trying to lose twenty pounds. But in fact she’s been fighting extra weight since she was a teenager, and numerous “rules for the perpetual diet” constantly run through her brain. Are Amy’s rules a useful tool for her? In general, do you think rules of this sort are helpful or hurtful? Do you personally have any dieting rules?
  2. Amy’s obsessive love/hate relationship with eating even lead her to describe her world in terms of food (pear-yellow sun, meringue-white clouds). Do you think Amy has an actual eating disorder? Or is she just uncommonly passionate about food?
  3. Amy, after some dithering, leaves her hometown of Phoenix and takes off for Paris without telling anyone. Have you ever wanted to just chuck it all and “run away from home”? Was running away ultimately a smart move for Amy? Can it ever be a smart move for anyone?
  4. William, Amy’s husband, appears to be a steady decent guy with a good job. Some people might think he is perfect husband material. But do you think William was a good choice of husband for Amy? For that matter, do you think William is less perfect than he seems?
  5. Do you think Kat was a truly good friend to Amy?
  6. Did any parts of the book offend you or make you feel uncomfortable? For example, Amy rants quite a lot about fat and fat people, especially in the early part of the book. Do you feel this is at all justified? Do you think Rose (the head librarian) knows about Amy’s attitudes?
  7. Did you have a favorite scene? Is there one thing in the story that was new to you, or that sticks with you? Who was your favorite character?
  8. Margaret, Kat, and Rose all tell Amy they think she wasn’t a good fit or happy with William, but Amy doesn’t really “hear it.” Why not? Have you ever not listened when multiple people have told you something?
  9. Amy is a person who kept much to herself. How did that help her? How did it hurt her?
  10. The female characters in this book are far more influential than the male. Amy’s mind is filled with the insistent voices of Kat and of her mother; she is led and advised, in very different ways, by Margaret and Rose. Why do you think the women in this book are so powerful? Are women in general more of a force in an average person’s emotional growth than men are?
  11. Amy takes a pregnancy test in the beginning of the book (it is negative). But Margaret is convinced Amy is carrying a child almost from the moment they meet. How crazy is this? Can you tell if a woman is pregnant just from looking at her? Do you believe in “the glow”?
  12. On the last page of the book, Amy makes a big decision. Were you surprised? Did it lead you to imagine what might happen next?