Reading Group Guide: THE PISCES by Melissa Broder
1. Early on, Lucy’s reliance on hope manifests in an affinity for crystals, psychics, and other spiritual entities. How does this evolve throughout the book?
2. Why do you think Lucy overdosed? Was she trying to hurt herself?
3. What does Lucy’s uncertainty about her thesis reveal about her? Do you think finishing it would offer her a sense of closure?
4. After joining a therapy group, Lucy jokingly thinks that the meaning of loving yourself is being repellent to others. Do you agree with her? How do she and the other group members exhibit their self-love?
5. Did you find Lucy’s desire for closeness and fulfillment relatable? Are these feelings normal?
6. When Theo reveals that he is a merman, he assures Lucy that “you aren’t hallucinating . . . in a way you were hallucinating before you met me in the sense that there was only one part of life you could see” (p. 139). What part of life did Lucy see before understanding who and what Theo is, and what part of life does she see after?
7. Lucy wonders if it is possible to be used while using someone. Who is she using, and who is using her?
8. What does Theo symbolize within the context of Lucy’s life? Do you think there is a particular reason he entered her life when he did?
9. Do you think Lucy learns anything from her brief encounters with Adam, Garrett, and Chase?
10. Of the members of her therapy group, Lucy feels most connected to Diana and Claire. Are these friendships helpful or harmful?
11. Do you think the support group has helped Lucy? What do Dr. Jude and its members teach her about herself?
12. Why do you think Jamie tries to reconnect with Lucy? Does she have any remaining feelings for him?
13. Lucy describes many types of love: a feeling of sisterly love felt between her and her sister, Diana, and Claire, a pure form of love between herself and Dominic, and the love she shares with Theo. How do these different types of love and relationships compare? Which type of love is most present in her life, and which is most important?
14. Lucy hypothesizes that “the only way to maybe have satisfaction would be to accept the nothingness and try not to put anyone else in it” (p. 104). Is it possible for her to accept the empty spaces in her life without attempting to fill them?
15. Why do you think Annika is so invested in Dominic? What does her reaction to his death say about her relationship with Lucy?
16. Do you believe that Theo is really what and who he claims to be? Do any of his actions indicate otherwise?
17. Ultimately, Lucy decides to return to her sister’s home rather than living with Theo or returning to Phoenix. Do you think this was the right decision?