The Melting Season

The Melting Season

by Jami Attenberg

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Overview

The Melting Season by Jami Attenberg

From one of today's hottest novelists and author of the bestselling The Middlesteins — a provocative story about friendship and self-discovery.

Catherine Madison left her small town in Nebraska after her husband deserted her. She's also left behind her most shameful secrets-of a family and a marriage that have plagued her with self-doubt. On the road, she's trying to become a new person. But running away from the past isn't as easy as she'd hoped. Her journey leads her to Las Vegas, where she forms surprising new friendships that compel her to reveal what she'd sworn she'd keep hidden, and teach her what human connection really means.
 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594484995
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/04/2011
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jami Attenberg is the author of the novels The Middlesteins and The Kept Man and of the story collection Instant Love. She has written for The New York Times, New York, Salon, Nylon, Print, Nerve, and others. Chicago native, she lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Reading Group Guide

INTRODUCTION

A tender, provocative story about the power of friendship, the thrill of self-discovery, and the strength it takes to escape the past.

Catherine Madison is headed West with a suitcase full of cash that isn't hers. She's just left the only home she's ever known, a small town in Nebraska, after the only man she had ever known, her husband, Thomas, deserted her. She's also left behind her deepest, most shameful secrets-among them a dysfunctional family she's never quite been able to escape and a marriage whose most intimate moments have plagued her with self-doubt. On the road, she was going to become a new person. Or so she thought.

But running away from the past isn't as easy as she had hoped. When Catherine reaches Las Vegas, she forms surprising new friendships that compel her to reveal what she had sworn she'd keep hidden, and teach her what human connection really means. Armed with this new knowledge, she is finally emboldened to uncover the truth about her family, come to understand what destroyed her marriage, and prevent her troubled sister from repeating her mistakes.

Deeply compassionate and unflinchingly bold, The Melting Season is the story of an indelible character's journey from isolation to belonging, as well as an honest look at the things we feel we deserve from our lives- and how far we will go to find them.


ABOUT JAMI ATTENBERG

Jami Attenberg is the author of the novel The Kept Man and the short story collection Instant Love. She has written for The New York Times, New York, Print, Salon, Nylon, Nerve and others. A Chicago native, she lives in Brooklyn, New York.


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
  • Do you think Catherine should have kept Thomas’s money? Why or why not?
  • Do you think Valka was more justified than Thomas in getting plastic surgery? Why or why not?
  • Do you think Catherine and Jenny should still try to have a relationship with their mother? If so, what kind of boundaries should that relationship have?
  • Catherine could not open up about the sexual problems that plagued her marriage until she met the brash Valka, who talks easily about her own problems. Are you more like Catherine or Valka? Whose approach do you think is better?
  • What parallels can be drawn between the end of Valka’s relationship with her fiancé, Peter, and the end of Catherine’s marriage to Thomas?
  • Catherine fell in love with Thomas when she was sixteen, before she had seen or known very much of the world. How do you think things will be different the next time Catherine falls in love?
  • Catherine left her home in Nebraska behind so that she could discover something about herself. Have you had the same desire to leave something you’ve known for something new and different? Did you act on it? If no, why not? And if yes, what did you find?
  • Why do you think Catherine was not curious about life outside her hometown before her marriage ended?
  • What do you think Jenny’s daughter Laura’s life would have been like if they hadn’t left Nebraska? Do you see a brighter future for Laura in California? Why or why not?

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Melting Season 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
charlottesweb93 More than 1 year ago
The Melting Season is a book about forgiveness, starting over, and being true to oneself. Catherine has led a sheltered life and is on a journey to find herself, that journey takes her across the country and a million miles from home. The first half of the story is the actual journey itself. The second half of the story is Catherine in Las Vegas telling her story to her new friend. The story is an interesting one to read about. Being from the Midwest, and having traveled I80 frequently, I enjoyed that aspect of the story. When Catherine starts talking about her past, you can not help but be swept up in her story. Her life has been something out of a Lifetime movie and you start to understand why she chose to run away from home. Jami Attenberg has written a heartfelt novel of self discovery that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago