The Ones We Choose

The Ones We Choose

Lisa Genova meets 23andMe in this exploration of the genetic and emotional ties that bind, as debut author Julie Clark delivers a compelling read about a young boy desperate to find his place in this world, a mother coming to terms with her own past, and the healing power of forgiveness.

The powerful forces of science and family collide when geneticist Paige Robson finds her world in upheaval: Her eight-year-old son Miles is struggling to fit in at his new school and begins asking questions about his biological father that Paige can’t answer—until fate thrusts the anonymous donor she used into their lives.

Paige’s carefully constructed life begins to unravel as the truth of Miles’s paternity threatens to destroy everything she has grown to cherish. As Paige slowly opens herself up—by befriending an eccentric mother, confronting her own deeply buried vulnerabilities, and trying to make sense of her absent father’s unexpected return—she realizes breakthroughs aren’t only for the lab. But when tragedy strikes, Paige must face the consequences of sharing a secret only she knows.

With grace and humor, Julie Clark shows that while the science is fascinating, solving these intimate mysteries of who we are and where we come from unleashes emotions more complex than the strands of DNA that shape us.
  • Gallery Books | 
  • 368 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501184475 | 
  • May 2018
List Price $16.00 (price may vary by retailer)
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Reading Group Guide

The Ones We Choose by Julie Clark

This reading group guide for The Ones We Choose includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book


Abandoned by her father when she was young, geneticist Paige Robson has dedicated her life to pulling apart the science of his choice—discovering a gene that explains why some men stay while others leave. So when she decides she wants a child of her own, she turns to an anonymous sperm donor who will never complicate their lives. Now, nine years later, Paige loves Liam, a man with a big heart and a steadiness that makes her want to set aside her past and build a family of three with him.

But moving forward is more complicated than she expected. Her son, Miles, is desperate to know his biological father and views Liam as nothing more than a stand-in for the real thing. Paige feels trapped, unable to make either of them completely happy.

When fate thrusts Miles’s donor into their lives, Paige is shocked to discover he’s already connected to them in ways she couldn’t anticipate. Paige fears that revealing his true identity may do more harm than good and decides to say nothing. But when see more

About the Author

Julie Clark
Photograph by Eric A. Reid Photogtaphy

Julie Clark

Born and raised in Santa Monica, California, Julie Clark grew up reading books on the beach while everyone else surfed. After attending college at University of the Pacific, and a brief stint working in the athletic department at University of California, Berkeley, she returned home to Santa Monica to teach. She now lives there with her two young sons and a golden doodle with poor impulse control. The Ones We Choose is her first novel.