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Perfect Timing

Perfect Timing

By Jill Mansell

About Perfect Timing

Never a troublemaker, Poppy had always been content with the way things were supposed to be done—which included marrying predictable Rob McBride. But that was before she met Tom Kennedy the night before her wedding. Could she really be falling in love with a stranger?

Unable to forget Tom, or go through with the wedding, Poppy runs off to London. Her new life and colorful friends are anything but predictable. Misunderstandings, family secrets, and jealous quarrels ensue, but can Poppy stop running long enough to figure out what—or, rather, who—is in her heart?

Reading Group Guide

1. The night before her wedding, Poppy meets Tom and has an instant attraction to him. Do you think it was love at first sight or cold feet? Knowing that she is getting married the next day, is Tom’s behavior appropriate?

2. At the end of the night, Poppy has two choices: to forget Tom and go through with the wedding or to meet Tom and see what happens. She chooses the third option—going off on her own. Why do you think Poppy makes this choice? Was this the easiest choice to make? Was it the best choice?

3. Everyone in Bristol loves Rob McBride and thinks he is the ideal catch, so no one understands why Poppy calls off the wedding. Have you ever broken up with someone who everyone else thought that you should be with? What were the repercussions? Did you handle things like Poppy did?

4. Claudia and Poppy aren’t a great fit as roommates at first. Have you ever had a living situation that was less than ideal? Were you able to work through it to an amicable conclusion?

5. Families in Perfect Timing are rather unconventional. Caspar has the perfect family, Claudia’s mother drives her crazy, and Poppy is still searching for hers. In your opinion, whose family is the most desirable? How do your relationships with family members compare to the relationships in Perfect Timing?

6. In many ways, Dina’s life is what Poppy’s might have been had she gone through with her wedding. Why is Dina so discontented? Do you think her excursions to London make her more or less happy? Have you ever been envious of someone else’s life as Dina is of Poppy’s?

7. Rita and Alex have an enviably happy marriage, but it wasn’t always perfect. Do you think a marriage can recover from a big roadblock like an affair? Can it make it stronger, as Rita suggests was the case for her, or will it destroy the marriage as it did for Laura and Mervyn? How does Rita and Alex’s marriage compare to the other marriages in the book?

8. Tom and Poppy had an instant attraction—and initially he seemed perfect. When do you think that Poppy realizes that he might not be right for her? Have you ever thought someone was perfect for you, only to be proven wrong?

9. Poppy admits that all she has been searching for throughout her life is a family that she belongs to. How did that desire lead her astray in her relationships? In the end, do you think she finds what she was looking for?

10. Claudia has her idea of the perfect man set, and then she finds Jake, who seems like the last guy on earth she would go for. What changes her mind? Have the things you look for in a partner changed as you’ve matured?

11. When we first meet Caspar, he is a notorious womanizer. Is he the kind of guy you expected Poppy to end up with? Do you think they are a good fit?

12. Throughout the book, Poppy’s timing is sometimes completely off and other times it leads her to something she never expected. What role does timing play in where Poppy ends up? Do you believe that timing is a matter of fate, or is it something that is completely decided by chance?


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