1) We discover very quickly that Dougie is a... his friends’ eyes we see how his alcoholism ruined his...

1) We discover very quickly that Dougie is a flawed man. Through Dougie himself and through
his friends’ eyes we see how his alcoholism ruined his marriage, his business and nearly cost him
everything. Now he is trying to mend his ways to be a good father to Stevie, but temptation is
always waiting in the wings. What were your first impressions of Dougie? Did your view of him
change over the course of the novel?
2) Simon betrays Dougie’s friendship in one of the worst ways possible. Were you surprised
by Simon’s actions? Do you think that if he had handled things differently afterwards and
acknowledged his wrong doing their friendship might have survived?
3) Stevie has her own role to play in Simon’s betrayal – did you view her as a wholly innocent victim
or did you feel she played a more active role?
4) Victoria is a good and loyal friend who suffers her
own heartbreak. What do you think her real feelings
for Dougie are, and how might they have shaped her
marriage with Simon?
5) Janine starts the novel in a very safe and steady new
relationship with Mike – at what point did you begin
to wonder if her feelings for Dougie had fully been
6) Janine and Dougie face one of the most devastating
losses life can throw at you when their baby died.
How much do you think this affected their marriage?
Do you think any marriage would be strong enough
to survive unscathed after that?
7) Nina is an extraordinarily powerful character who
is very instrumental in turning Dougie’s life around.
What did you make of her choice to keep her
imminent death from him a secret? Do you think his
initial anger towards her was justified?