The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs

“If you nudge an asteroid off course by just a tiny bit and give it enough time, it will end up in an entirely different place. Life is no different. Nudge someone one way or the next and a person’s life trajectory can change forever.” – Matthew Dicks

Caroline Jacobs leads a comfortable life. Not a remarkable life, but a life that is stable.  She has a devoted husband, a predictable job, a teenage daughter (as well as the strained relationship that comes with her), and never ever upsets anyone. Each day is largely the same until Caroline swears at the PTA president and shocks everyone.

After her outburst, Caroline doesn’t know how to make sense of her situation.  She tries to ignore her actions until her daughter, Polly, gets in a fight with the PTA president’s daughter at school. When called to school to meet with the principal, Caroline impulsively takes Polly on a road trip straight to the past. Driving with a purpose, Caroline tells Polly about how the actions of her high school best friend shaped her in the most dramatic of ways, and is determined to get revenge. The road trip brings the two closer than Caroline thought possible and allows Polly to better understand her mom, but will Caroline go through with her plan to seek vengeance for the actions of a single day in the high school cafeteria?

The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs is a fun, engaging read that reminds all of us how the actions of our past can impact who we become. Dicks writes in a refreshing way crafting characters who are not overdone or exaggerated, but real and reliable.  This book is an ideal read to ease you into back-to-school mode.

Book Club Discussion Questions:

1. Is the resolution between Emily and Caroline reasonable? Is it satisfying?

2. Reflecting on Polly’s asteroid theory, how have you been “nudged” and potentially changed in your life? What small actions might have influenced you for better or worse?

3. If you could go back and confront (or thank) someone from your past, who would you meet and why?

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