Field Notes on Love

Discussion
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Ah! I’m so excited Book Club Discussion Day is finally here! I’ve been seeing your tags on social all month long letting us know you’ve been reading along, and I’m DYING to know your thoughts! I hope you enjoyed this charming book just as much as we did and I look forward to reading all of your comments! 

Let’s get this discussion going! My answers are in the comments below.

xo-

Ashley Brooke, Editor-in-Chief

Ashley Brooke Book Club Discussing Field Notes on Love book

OK y'all, let's talk books! Head down to the comments to answer our discussion questions and tell us what you thought of this month's selection. Remember, this book club is here to be fun and thoughtful so be sure your comments are kind and respectful of others.

Betsy Storey, Co-Editor at the Ashley Brooke Book Club
Betsy Storey
Co-Editor & Discussion Moderator

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Let's Discuss!

1. We loved the whole idea of Hugo and his siblings being “insta/blog famous.” His is really the first generation that will deal with these issues.  What did you think about the challenges and benefits it presented for Hugo and his siblings?

 

2. This book is full of poignant moments and sweet advice. What was your favorite “field note” on love?

 

3. Have you ever taken a train trip or a gap year? Where did you go?!

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24 Comments

  1. May 30, 2019 / 6:56 am

    Okay, I LOVED this book!

    1. I loved this part of the story line, especially just like the question said, Hugo’s generation is the first to really experience it! I often think what/how much of our own kids (one day!) lives we will share online, so I found this part so fascinating. I thought how Hugo was both embarrassed and proud of his mom was not only sweet but very fitting for an 18 year old! 😉

    2. Honestly, too many to count. But I loved how the story line came together as they gathered all the notes on love and to see Mae and Hugo’s love story bloom parallel to their findings. Mae’s heart grew with each interview and that was so fun to see unfold.

    3. Yes and No! Last year Ryan and I took a train from New York to Rhode Island and it was so magical. Only a few hours, but wow… the views were breathtaking and this book has me craving another trip just like it.

    And no on the gap year – but that would have been fun! 😉

    Can’t wait to hear your thoughts! xx

  2. Katherine McLean
    May 30, 2019 / 8:37 am

    Ah, I just adored this book!
    1. I thought this was such an unique tidbit to add to the story line. I think we’re at such an interesting time where no one knows exactly how this will play out for the children of influencers!
    2. My favorite “field note” was definitely Mae and Hugo’s. It was such a sweet ending and just felt really happy.
    3. I have never taken a gap year but my grandmother took me on a train trip to NYC when I was younger and it was such a fun memory! I wish it was something I did more often.
    Hope you loved this book as much as we did!

    • May 30, 2019 / 10:55 am

      Katherine

      A train ride to NYC with your grandma?! So fun!!

      Also, I’m with you Mae and Hugo’s was the best.

      xx – AB

  3. Betsy Storey
    May 30, 2019 / 9:17 am

    1. This storyline was fascinating to me! I think the hardest thing for Hugo was less about how much his mom shared and more about always having to function as 1 of 6 because that’s how people know them. But I think the book poses really interesting questions about blogging as a career and how much of your kids to share and what say they have in that.

    2. I loved Mae’s relationship with her grandmother and how she encourages Mae to be brave in life and in love.

    3. When I lived just outside of Baltimore as kid my family would take the train from DC to Florida to visit family. It was an auto train so your car was also on the train and when you got to your destination you had your car to get around. It was such a fun way to travel–you leave in the afternoon and the next morning you are there!

    • May 30, 2019 / 10:53 am

      B –
      I would have loved to have seen your and Court on a train with little backpacks making your trek to Florida!
      haha! So cute!!

      • Betsy Storey
        May 30, 2019 / 6:22 pm

        Um. We were adorable and naturally had fake names we used the entire time. Hahaha 😉

  4. Amelia
    May 30, 2019 / 9:33 am

    I love, Love, LOVED THIS BOOK!

    1. I can only imagine how hard it is to detect the line between public and private, and I think Hugo was overwhelmingly embarrassed by what was publicized about him online rather than growing up “normally”. We see this in his trepidation and reluctance to have Mae know he’s one of The Sextuplets. And she had researched him, which for Hugo must have felt like when a fan knows a little too much about a celebrity- awkward/takes away the mystery of a stranger/not seen as a normal regular human.

    2. My favorite field note on love was Mae’s grandmother’s advice. I think she was instrumental in guiding Mae to the realization of how to live and love openly, without guard or hesitation. She needed to hear that advice (although painful in her grandmother’s passing) and her grandma’s own love story in order to clear her mind from her own notions. (I also loved how affected Mae and Hugo were by the stories shared on the train. SO sweet!)

    3. I’ve taken a short train trip while visiting my grandparents in Durango, CO one summer and the views were spectacular! Seeing God’s creation like that is absolutely breathtaking. While it wasn’t a cross country journey, it was certainly the view of a lifetime! I haven’t taken a gap year, but I know that my friends that have benefited from it so much when they go and serve or find a greater purpose outside themselves. I rushed to graduate college in 3 years and regret that I look back on that time and rushed and lonely! Looking back I still don’t think a gap year would’ve been my solution but breathing and aspiring to be more light hearted certainly would’ve helped!

    • May 30, 2019 / 10:52 am

      Amelia!

      Ah!! LOVE hearing that!

      I totally agree, Mae’s grandmother was SPOT on. Gosh, what a sweet character, and the note at the end. Ugh. So good.

      Thanks for reading along, friend!

  5. Kalyn Abrams
    May 30, 2019 / 10:32 am

    I absolutely loved this book!

    1. I found the idea of Hugo’s mother being a blogger an intriguing part of the book. While it was embarrassing how much of his life had been shared through his mother’s blog, Mae was able to “Google” him and get to know him better. I’m sure reading about him on her blog made her feel more comfortable to take the risk and join a stranger on a cross country train trip.

    2. My favorite field note was the advice that Nana gave Mae. Before she left, Nana shared the story of how she fell in love with a man in uniform during Mardi Gras and I think it was this story that opened Mae’s heart to love. Nana showed Mae that even though her and that man were only together for a short weekend, she didn’t protect her heart, she let herself fall for him.

    3. I took a train trip while we were camping in Big South Fork, Kentucky. While it was only a short ride, I got to see apart of the area that roads didn’t take you. Beautiful mountains, valleys, and tunnels. I have to admit that as I was reading about Mae and Hugo’s train adventure, I started researching various train trips. It seems so romantic!

    • Betsy Storey
      May 30, 2019 / 6:23 pm

      Kalyn–great point about Hugo begin google-able! I never thought about that but that was a great benefit for Mae for sure!

  6. Nicole
    May 30, 2019 / 3:55 pm

    This was my favorite book so far out of all the ones you’ve chosen! It was so sweet and left me literally smiling at the end 🙂

    1. We loved the whole idea of Hugo and his siblings being “insta/blog famous.” His is really the first generation that will deal with these issues. What did you think about the challenges and benefits it presented for Hugo and his siblings?
    I think the challenges and benefits were very realistic. It was amazing that they could get benefits like a free college education but it seemed to also take away some of their freedom. I can imagine that this would be particularly hard to accept when you’re 18 and trying to find out who you are and make your way in the real world. I felt for Hugo as he was trying to deal with all of these things.

    2. This book is full of poignant moments and sweet advice. What was your favorite “field note” on love?
    I loved all of them! The older couple (who had lost their son) was especially sweet though 🙂

    3. Have you ever taken a train trip or a gap year? Where did you go?!
    Yes!!! I had the opportunity to spend 6 months in Germany and Austria a few years ago. My husband and I took trains all over the place and it was amazing!!! The German and Austrian countrysides are some of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen 🙂

    • Betsy Storey
      May 30, 2019 / 6:24 pm

      I’m so glad you loved it Nicole–it was the sweetest book! I’m jealous of your European train travel–that seems like the best place to travel by train!

    • May 31, 2019 / 8:05 am

      Nicole, I LOVE hearing that! And you and me both… I was smiling the entire time!

      Also, I love hearing your train stories… sounds dreamy! Next time, take me!

      xo – AB

  7. Tai
    May 30, 2019 / 11:55 pm

    1. I think anytime you’re put in the spotlight, especially as a young child when you’re not really given a choice, can be really hard because you’re simply not given a choice. I don’t think this is really an instance of insta/blog famous though. They were made famous because they were sextuplets and news media latched to that, not really because mom started a blog after they were born.

    2. I really liked Hugo’s realization that love has a different word for each person in his life. There’s a different reason we love each person we do and it can feel different depending on your relationship with that person.

    3. My mom’s side of the family is Japanese so we go visit often. I have always loved taking the train in Japan. It’s so true that there’s something “romantic” about it and it’s just so much more pleasant than riding in a car or taking a plane!

    • Tai
      May 30, 2019 / 11:55 pm

      P.S. I finished this book in like a day and a half. Great pick!!

    • May 31, 2019 / 8:05 am

      Tai, you are totally right… they were definitely more famous for being sextuplets!

  8. Cristina Venturini
    May 31, 2019 / 4:05 pm

    1. I thought this was really interesting because this is really a new concept that youth have not had to experience before. It’s both a positive and a negative in my opinion. It’s great because of the exposure and opportunity available to children today and the experiences they might not otherwise have. It’s bad because there is already so much pressure in “growing up” and to succeed, that another layer of pressure might be too much for some.

    2. I loved the connection Mae had with her grandmother. That was really special to get to see unfold.

    3. Never taken a gap year. But I have taken the train from Boston into New York City. It was a total blast! It’s a great way to see the country and all the different landscapes of community that exist. It definitely makes me want to take a longer cross-country trip – one day!

    • May 31, 2019 / 6:59 pm

      Cristina,

      I’m with you, Mae and her grandmother were just so sweet!

      Thanks for reading, friend!

      xo – AB

  9. Stacey
    June 3, 2019 / 3:08 pm

    1. We loved the whole idea of Hugo and his siblings being “insta/blog famous.” His is really the first generation that will deal with these issues. What did you think about the challenges and benefits it presented for Hugo and his siblings?

    I liked the fact that she included him as a member of such a large family in the public eye. It gives him depth to ponder. They both have interesting backgrounds. I can see the challenges him and his siblings face are major. I mean think of all the ways they could choose to go in life but its being dictated by being a group and doing it all the same. I as a parent wouldn’t even make my kids wear the same clothing. I’ve always wanted them to be individuals.

    2. This book is full of poignant moments and sweet advice. What was your favorite “field note” on love?

    The part that I loved was the part with the kid at the bar having taco. Hugo had just gotten good news after following his heart based on love. Just shows sometimes its the little things that bring joy. Hugo gets to travel the world and the boy gets his taco. I love the statement that comes from it is, go for it and embrace everything you love with excitement and joy. Find someone you can be yourself and express yourself with.

    3. Have you ever taken a train trip or a gap year? Where did you go?!
    I have taken a gap year and I used to be scared of trains. I now want to go on a train ride. 🙂
    I started college right after high school. During my first year I got married. I moved in with my Marine at 19 and we started a family. I later went on to complete my college degrees.

    • June 5, 2019 / 10:02 am

      Stacey! Thank you so much for reading, friend!
      Also, I love your story… how sweet, true love! 🙂

      xoxo – AB

  10. Kim B.
    June 4, 2019 / 1:48 pm

    Such a cute book!
    1. Hugo was struggling with his identity because people knew of him and his siblings and took them as a group not as individuals. But the Internet does have it benefits and that’s how he met Mae!
    2. I loved all the notes on love and how it shows it’s just different for everyone. I liked the advice from her grandmother the most and her special relationship with Mae. All the feels with Mae’s video at the end!
    3. I took the train from West Palm Beach, FL to Washington DC for the safety patrol trip in 5th grade! A long and fun trip away from home.

    • June 5, 2019 / 10:00 am

      Yes, ALL THE FEELS at the end! I’m with you!

      Also, that train ride sounds like so much fun!

      xo – AB

About ABBC

The Ashley Brooke Book Club is here to inspire fun and thoughtful conversations about what we are reading, highlight women storytellers, and cross another great read off your ‘to be read’ list. We’re here for books that make you feel like you’ve had a night out with your girlfriends without ever leaving your couch!

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