Merry and Bright

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Macomber, Debbie

Merry Smith is pretty busy these days. She's taking care of her family, baking cookies, decorating for the holidays, and hoping to stay out of the crosshairs of her stressed and by-the-book boss at the consulting firm where she temps. Her own social life is the last thing she has in mind, much less a man. Without her knowledge, Merry's well-meaning mom and brother create an online dating profile for her--minus her photo--and the matches start rolling in. Initially, Merry is incredulous, but she reluctantly decides to give it a whirl. Soon Merry finds herself chatting with a charming stranger, a man with similar interests and an unmistakably kind soul. Their online exchanges become the brightest part of her day. But meeting face-to-face is altogether different, and her special friend is the last person Merry expects--or desires. Still, sometimes hearts can see what our eyes cannot. In this satisfying seasonal tale, unanticipated love is only a click away.

Discussion Guide: 

1. What are the main themes of the novel? What did you find most interesting?

2. The story is told from the perspectives of both Merry and Jayson. Who do you think is the main character? Why?

3. Merry’s brother, Patrick, is a huge part of Merry’s life. How does his presence affect Merry and Jayson’s relationship?

4. If Merry and Jayson hadn’t met through online dating, do you think they would have ever made a connection on their own? Why or why not?

5. In Chapter 12, Merry tells Jayson that “Christmas is a condition of the heart... It’s being open and sincere, generous and kind to those with less, or showing our love to those we cherish.” What does Christmas mean to you? Does this definition match how you feel about the holiday season?

6. How does the phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover” relate to this story?

7. How does Merry change Jayson and his relationships with others?

8. Which character did you most easily relate to? How are you similar? Different?

9. Who would you cast to play each of the characters in a film adaptation of MERRY AND BRIGHT? Why?