Some Assembly Required

A Novel

Some Assembly Required

Thirty-nine-year-old Rose is content with her safe life: both her job writing manuals for appliances and her long-term boyfriend are reasonably satisfying. But when Mr. Almost Right betrays her, Rose decides there has to be more to it than writing succinct descriptions about how to use the timer on a Pause 'n Serve coffeemaker. Lured by the therapeutic promise of Cape Cod's sand, salt, and waves, Rose abandons her careful past and leaves the city far behind.

Rose wants only to heal her broken heart. But with the help of a few eccentric neighbors, a fulfilling new job as the world's oldest cub reporter, and a compellingly odd new man, she comes to realize that her past is the furthest thing from her mind -- and she may just have stumbled upon her future happiness.
  • Touchstone | 
  • 336 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416550594 | 
  • July 2008
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Reading Group Guide

1. "Nauset has a secret" is a slogan invented by Zadie to promote the opening of the time capsule, but it seems to apply to other things as well. What are some of Nauset's other secrets?
2. Describe the two main characters, Rose and Simon. Why do you think they are attracted to each other?
3. "Instructions. Rose hadn't just written them, she'd followed them all her life" (6). How does being a reporter differ from being a writer of instruction manuals? What is the significance of Rose's decision to switch careers? How does leaving her "safety net" influence her development as a character?
4. Describe Cooper and Val's relationship.
5. "In the end, all Simon knew was this: he and Noel were damaged goods. Two peas in a pod. They needed each other" (97). Are there other characters in Some Assembly Required who might be considered "damaged goods" or who "need each other"? Why? What does the author suggest about human fallibility?
6. Discuss Simon and Segundo's differing views of God. What role does faith play in the novel?
7. Defining the term "washashores," Val says that it "just means people from away. Not born and raised here" (10). Like any small town, Nauset has its insiders and its outsiders. Who are the outsiders in Some Assembly Required and how are they perceived by the insiders?
8. Each of the major characters in Some Assembly Required is affected by Lino's disappearance. Describe the way this event has shaped the li see more

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About the Author

Lynn Kiele Bonasia

Lynn Kiele Bonasia has been a freelance advertising copywriter for more than twenty years. She has published short fiction in The Seattle Review and The Miami Herald, among others. She and her family spend summers on Cape Cod and live outside Boston during the winter. Please visit her website at