Forgotten April

By Robyn Bradley
Binding:Paperback
Publisher:CreateSpace, (6/11/2011)
Language:English



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For April Sullivan-LaMonica, the last ten years have been hell: her husband and young son were killed in a car accident, and soon after, her mom descended into the darkness of Alzheimer's. So when broadcast journalist Maggie Prescott shows up claiming to be April's half sister and tries to capture their reunion on film, April outwardly regards Maggie with much suspicion. In reality, she's simply afraid to grow close to someone again, only to have that person leave -- or worse. 

Maggie, meanwhile, is battling her own demons: figuring out why her biological mother gave her up, facing a secret she's kept from the one man she's loved all her life, and giving herself permission to follow the dream she's had since she was a child.

Separated by nearly two decades and radically different life paths, April and Maggie must decide if pursuing their sisterhood is worth it…or even possible. 

A story of loss, love, survival, and redemption, Forgotten April will speak to anyone who's experienced the pains -- and riches -- of an unexpected friendship that emerges from family ties.

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robinchap1's thoughts on "Forgotten April"
updated on:4/12/2012



DEFINITELY Unleash it


"Forgotten April"
By Robyn Bradley

Average Rating:
DEFINITELY Unleash it
5.00 out of 5 (1 Clubie's ratings)


The Gentleman
The Gentleman
By Forrest Leo

 
 
 General reading guide discussion questions to be used with ANY book your book club or reading group might be discussing.
 
 

A NOTE TO THE READER: SPOILER ALERT!
At times, this guide reveals certain aspects of the plot, so be sure you've read the novel in its entirety before reading any further here.

1. The author uses multiple first-person viewpoints to tell the story, and she does this by alternating chapters between different characters. Have you encountered this structure before? How did the structure work in advancing the different threads in Forgotten April?

2. Forgotten April is told in present tense and follows a chronological timeline, yet many of the characters experience flashbacks. How did this structure work in advancing the overall story and the story arcs for individual characters?

3. One main character—Hazel Cooke—does not have her own point-of-view chapters. How do you think the novel would have changed if the author had included "Hazel chapters"?

4. One challenge in having multiple voices tell a story is making sure the voices are distinctive enough. How does the author accomplish this—specifically, how does the author make sure that April and Maggie sound "different" from one another and Nigel and Hugh sound different from one another?

5. Hugh's first chapter doesn't come until almost halfway through the book. Did you want to hear from Hugh sooner, or did the placement of this chapter make sense to Hugh's character and the overall book?

6. Discuss the role that minor characters, like Joelle, Serena, Trudie, and Kate, play in the main characters' lives and in the overall story.

7. In some ways, the nursing home is its own character. Discuss how the setting influenced the main characters and helped drive the story.

8. Did your interpretation of the title change by the end of the book? If so, how?

9. At the end, we learn that Maggie has discovered a letter explaining the circumstances around her adoption. She says, "I know why, Nigel. I finally know why." But the author chooses to keep the contents of the letter hidden from readers. Did this decision work for the story, and did it work for you as a reader?

10. Two big social issues—handling a parent with Alzheimer's disease and the long-term consequences involving adoption—play major roles in the book. But some other social issues—such as alcoholism, abortion, and gay issues—also play roles. How did your understanding of these issues change after reading the novel?

11. Did your feelings toward Adrienne change after reading the epilogue?

12. At its heart, Forgotten April is a story about secrets—and the debilitating effects that harboring secrets can have on a person. Which character do you think benefited the most (from an emotional standpoint) after revealing his or her secret?

Thank you for reading and discussing Forgotten April.

Clubie Submitted Discussion Questions
Have a good question? If your a clubie add one now.
 
 

Reviews:

Link To Videos:

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gep08nzDR0&feature=player_embedded

Video with review excerpts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7valSu6sOIM&feature=endscreen

Interviews:

On Being a “Real” Writer – Guest Post on Tahereh Mafi’s blog

How It Took Me 10 Years & 7 Versions to Get Forgotten April Right

Me on BlogTalk Radio with BK Walker (note: about 12 minutes in we were disconnected, but then I come back)

Interview on Dina Santorelli’s blog

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Chapter 1: April

When Maggie showed me her birth certificate and claimed my mother was also her mother, I didn't know what to think. I mean, my mom had never once hinted about some illegitimate child from her past. But then I remembered another big secret she kept from me: my father's death when I was five wasn’t an accident—it was suicide.

A sister? I had a sister?

I looked from the birth certificate to Maggie herself: her staggering height (close to six feet?); her glossy auburn hair (a prettier shade than mine); and her model-like face—familiar since I'd seen it on TV, but also in a way that I couldn't explain. In that instant, I knew. I didn't need evidence like a birth certificate (Maggie had been born here, in the same town as me) or my mother's confession (impossible to get anyway, thank you very much, Alzheimer's disease). I knew in my gut that Maggie and I were connected, that we'd both formed in the same womb, that we shared a partial bloodline.

If she'd only given me one goddamn moment to collect my thoughts, things might have turned out differently. I mean, how long has she been doing this investigative reporting thing on television? Twenty years? Thirty? Long enough to know that when you turn someone’s life upside down with a single piece of paper, you should give the person time to process. 

But, no. She had to go and make demands. She wanted to see our mother. She wanted to set up a DNA test. She wanted to film everything for her TV show, starting right then and there. 

I'll admit it doesn't take much to get my Irish up, but c'mon. This was more than any old news story. We were more than any old news story. Weren't we? Why would she want to exploit us? Why wouldn't she want to deal with everything in private, like a normal, rational human being? That was my first clue that Maggie Prescott was in it for herself, and only herself, and she didn't give a rat's ass about Mom, or me, or the fact we were, well, family. The only functioning family I had left.

###

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Robyn Bradley is a Novelist Ninja and Short Story Seductress. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University, and she won a short story award in 2007. Her work has appeared in FictionWeekly.com, Metal Scratches, The Breakwater Review, Writer's Digest (under her now defunct nom de plume, E.T. Robbins), and The MetroWest Daily News, among other places. When she's not writing or sleeping, Robyn enjoys watching Law & Order marathons, drinking margaritas, and determining how many degrees really separate her from George Clooney. Learn more at www.robynbradley.com. Or connect with Robyn on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.



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