Then Came You
Annie Barrow is a thirty-four-year-old working-class married mother of two who scrapes by on her husband’s single paycheck. After watching a TV show about surrogates, she thinks she’s found a way to recover a sense of purpose and bring in some extra cash…
India Bishop, thirty-eight (really forty-three), believes she’s found her happy ending when she marries a very wealthy and much older man, Marcus Croft, but decides that a baby will seal the deal. When all of her attempts at pregnancy fail, she turns to technology, and Annie and Jules, to help make her dreams come true…
But each woman’s plans are thrown into disarray when Marcus suddenly dies, and his twenty-three-year-old daughter Bettina is named guardian of the unborn child. As the baby’s due date draws near, these four women—with nothing and everything in common—discover what makes each of them a mother in her own right.
With her laugh-out-loud humor, startling tenderness, and spot-on characterizations, Jennifer Weiner once again takes listeners into the heart of women’s lives in America, in an unforgettable, timely tale that interweaves themes of class and entitlement, surrogacy and donorship, parental rights and the measure of motherhood.
Audio excerpt from THEN CAME YOU
Reading Group Guide
Questions & Topics for Discussion
- Discuss the different mothers that make up Then Came You. How does the behavior of these women directly affect their children?
- India, Annie, and Jules are all motivated, to a large degree, by financial gain. How did this affect your feelings towards them? Were some of their motivations more acceptable to you than others?
- When visiting her father in Pittsburgh, Jules comments, “I don’t make excuses. I know what he’s doing is illegal. I know that he’s a drain on taxpayers’ resources, that people who work hard at their jobs are the ones paying for his apartment and his food, for the cops that bust him and the counselors who hand him pamphlets about AA and methadone…But he’s my father…and I don’t believe that it’s his fault. It’s not like he’s lazy, some privileged rich kid trying to escape from some imaginary heartache or chasing some feel-good high. He takes drugs so that he can feel something close to