The Mother Next Door: Book Club Guide

Reader’s Guide Questions

Who was your favorite member of the Ivy Five? Why?

Do you have a group of friends you’d do anything for?

How does the theme of being a “good mother” develop over the course of the novel? What does the idea of a “good mother” mean for each character?

How does society put pressure on mothers to be perfect? How can communities better support mothers?

At one point it is said that the men are “largely invisible in this story.” Do you agree? Why or why not?

How do Kendra’s insecurities blur reality for her when it comes to what happened with Daphne? Where do you think those insecurities stem from?

Do the characters “get away” with their crimes and with their lies in the end? In what ways are they paying for them regardless?

How does the novel explore the ideas of ghosts and being haunted by the mistakes of the past?

Did Kendra, Theresa, or Ellen achieve what they wanted by the end of the story? Why or why not?

Where do you think the Ivy Five will be in five years’ time? How about Ellen? Maggie?

Do you enjoy celebrating Halloween? What are your favorite Halloween memories, costumes, decorations, songs, etc?

Ghost Girl Cocktail

[Adapted from the Liquid Ghost Halloween Cocktail here]

Wish to summon the Ghost Girl bride back from the dead? Try drinking this cocktail and saying her name in the mirror three times… (JUST KIDDING, for god’s sake don’t say anyone’s name in any mirror three times.)

But do make the drink and enjoy it.

  • 2 ounces coconut rum
  • 1 ounce white Creme de Cacao
  • 1/2 ounce vanilla vodka
  • 1 tsp simple syrup
  • 1 1/5 ounces Italian sweet cream (or heavy cream)

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake well. Pour into a short glass, with or without ice and serve immediately.

The Ivy Five Halloween Block Party Playlist

Listen to The Mother Next Door playlist on Spotify!