About this guide: (for more information, click here)

In order to provide reading groups with the most informed and thought-provoking questions possible, it is necessary to reveal important aspects of the plot of this book—as well as the ending. If you have not finished reading THE ONE THAT I WANT, we respectfully suggest that you may want to wait before reviewing this guide.

About this book

Tilly Farmer is thirty-two years old and has the perfect life she always dreamed of: married to her high school sweetheart, working as a guidance counselor in her hometown, trying for a baby. Perfect. Then one sweltering afternoon at the local fair, everything changes. Tilly wanders into the fortune teller’s tent and is greeted by an old childhood friend, now a psychic, who offers her more than just a reading. “I’m giving you the gift of clarity,” her friend says. “It’s what I always thought you needed.” And soon enough, Tilly starts seeing things: her father relapsing, staggering out of a bar with his car keys in hand; Tyler uprooting their happy, stable life, a packed U-Haul in their driveway; and even more disturbing, these visions start coming true. Suddenly Tilly’s perfect life, so meticulously mapped out, seems to be crumbling around her. And she’s not sure what’s more frightening: that she’s begun to see the future or what the future holds . . .  

Reader's guide

1. If you could be given the power to see into the future like Tilly is, would you use it? What positive or negative effects could this have in the scope of your life?

2. Tilly and her sisters have complicated, tangled relationships. Do you think you can ever separate who you are from who your family has helped shape you to be?

3. What role do Tilly’s flashforwards play in her understanding of how she was beholden to her family? What obligation do we have to our family at the risk of losing ourselves to them? How can we learn to put ourselves first if no one else does?

4. Many of Tilly’s happiest moments are set in her past. How does this influence her assessment of the present? Do you look back fondly on high school or is it a memory that you’ve long outgrown?

5. The book explores the notion of female friendships – some of which we inevitably outgrow. Have you ever lost an old friend, and have you ever found a way to renew that friendship? Did you regret letting her go?

6. Tilly and Tyler find themselves at a crossroads of a marriage that has grown stale. If you’re in a long-term relationship, how can you reboot it without losing it entirely or is there a turning point from which you can’t turn back?

7. Discuss the role of forgiveness in the novel. There are some actions that Tilly, Darcy and Ashley learn to forgive and others that they find they cannot. What does Tilly learn about forgiveness by the end of her journey?

8. Tilly explores the concept of personal responsibility as she races to steer her live back on course. Discuss the role that personal responsibility plays in our overall happiness and satisfaction with our lives. Can you have one without the other?

9. What role does Eli play in shaking up Tilly’s perspective? Could she have made the changes she makes by the end without him?

10. Tilly rediscovers long-abandoned aspirations and learns that even aiming toward small goals can change your life. What are your small but important goals that you’d like to achieve within the next year?

11. Tilly discovers that destiny is only partially pre-determined, that life is a mix of fate and what you exert over fate. Do you believe in destiny or is life totally within our control?