New from Simon & Schuster

Certain Girls

Certain Girls

A Novel

  • reading group guide
  • customer reviews
It's been almost thirteen years since we last saw Cannie Shapiro, the heroine of Good in Bed, whose journey towards happy-ever-after made millions of women the world over laugh, cry and recognise themselves. The last decade of Cannie's life has brought some surprises. Her life story, in fictional form, became an unexpected bestseller, and Cannie has since retreated from fame's fallout, writing science-fiction under a pen name and praying that all her daughter inherited from her father, Cannie's ex-boyfriend Bruce Guberman, are her curls and her eye-colour, and not his predilection for smoking pot. Meanwhile Cannie's best friend, Samantha, is looking for love in all the wrong places, and Cannie's husband, Peter, has decided that he'd like to have a baby, and the family's first choice for a surrogate is none other than Cannie's flamboyant kid sister ...
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  • Simon & Schuster UK | 
  • 416 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781847390219 | 
  • January 2010
List Price
AU$ 19.99

Video

Jennifer Weiner: Certain Girls

From the NY Times bestselling author, the long-awaited sequel to Good in Bed, picks up with Cannie raising her lovely but rebellious teenage daughter.

Read an Excerpt

Certain Girls
ONE

When I was a kid, our small-town paper published wedding announcements, with descriptions of the ceremonies and dresses and pictures of the brides. Two of the disc jockeys at one of the local radio stations would spend Monday morning picking through the photographs and nominating the Bow-Wow Bride, the woman they deemed the ugliest of all the ladies who’d taken their vows in the Philadelphia region over the weekend. The grand prize was a case of Alpo.

I heard the disc... see more

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Reading Group Guide

Questions and Topics for Discussion
1. In the opening of the novel, Cannie thankfully observes how her daughter, Joy, is so different from herself. Joy, Cannie thinks, will have a better adolescence than her mother did. And yet it is their differences that cause such conflict and grief in the Krushelevansky household. In what ways are Cannie and Joy different? In what ways are they similar? How much of these differences are specific to Cannie and Joy and how much are common to all mother-daughter pairs?
2. Cannie loves her daughter so deeply and so enjoys being a mother that it is somewhat surprising to see how negatively she reacts to Peter's request that they have a child together. Why do you think she reacts this way?
3. On page 68, Joy seems enraged by Cannie's repetition of a familiar story about Joy's childhood. But Cannie can't figure out what has upset her daughter so. Identify moments in the novel where Joy is upset with something Cannie says or does, and Cannie doesn't understand why. Do you think Joy is being unfair, or is it Cannie who is overreacting?
4. Cannie tries to steer Joy away from the fashion magazines her aunt Elle devours because she thinks they're a "bad influence." What does Joy think? Do you agree or disagree with Cannie, and why? How does the novel provide evidence to support one opinion over the other?
5. Joy is constantly smoothing her hair over her ears to hide her hearing aids, or taking them out altogether. Wha see more

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