Violet Parry is living the quintessential life of luxury in the Hollywood Hills with David, her rock-and-roll manager husband, and her darling toddler, Dot. She has the perfect life–except that she’s deeply unhappy. David expects the world of Violet but gives little of himself in return. When she meets Teddy, a roguish small-time bass player, Violet comes alive, and soon she’s risking everything for the chance to find herself again. Also in the picture are David’s hilariously high-strung sister, Sally, on the prowl for a successful husband, and Jeremy, the ESPN sportscaster savant who falls into her trap.    


In /This One is Mine/, Maria Semple spins the story of two women dissatisfied with their current lives and willing to do something to change that. This story has all the makings of a good “chick lit” novel: a bored housewife (and one who wishes she were), small amounts of steamy romance, quirky new age ideas, and ridiculous amounts of wealth to power it all. The pace is quick, jumping past uneventful times while lingering in the important scenes. The writing is fairly simple, but interesting and engrossing as well.    

Marie Semple has created a spot on, delicious send up of all things Los Angeles in This One Is Mine. With a delightful cast of some of the shallowest people ever to grace the printed page, this is a story of New Age absurdity, conniving, greed, wealth, social climbing, adultery and so much more.    

Once started, I could not put this book down. The writing is fluid and the characters fully developed. I enjoyed every last page of this dark comedy. This book will be a very good read for your book club, with all your girlfriends 🙂    

Here is a guide for discussion at your book club:    











1. Why do you think Violet is drawn to Teddy? What makes her 


risk “losing everything,” as David puts it?  


2. How does the novel’s title,   


This One Is Mine,   

relate to the story? 


The book’s epigraph opens with the image of a slave block.  


Are any of the characters in the book “enslaved” in a way?   


3. In the fi rst chapter, David is upset with Violet for what he perceives    

to be her lack of interest in maintaining the household.    

Is his anger justifi ed?    

4. What does Violet fi nd sad about Los Angeles? Where do you    

think this sadness stems from?    

5. What do you think about Sally’s friendship with Maryam?    

Why does Maryam put up with her?    

6. Los Angeles could be said to be a city of ambition. How do    

the characters’ ambitions relate to one another’s? What fuels    

those ambitions, and when do they get out of control?    

7. In some ways, Sally seems to want everything that Violet has: a    

successful husband, fi nancial security, a nice house, and stylish    

friends. Do you think Sally would be happy if she suddenly    

had everything she wanted? What similarities to you see in 


Sally and Violet?  


8. Do you see any similarities between David and Jeremy?   


9. Teddy seems to have a set of problems that make Violet’s (and    

everyone else’s) pale in comparison. Do you think Violet is    

drawn to him because of or in spite of these traits?    

10. What do you make of Sally and Jeremy’s relationship? Do you    

think there is a way that it could ever have worked out?    

11. Why is Violet happy when Sally tells her that she never really    

liked her?    

12. In many ways, this is a very “L.A.” story. To what extent do    

you think the characters’ attitudes and actions are shaped by    

Los Angeles? Could you see this story taking place anywhere    


13. At the end of the book, Violet, Sally, and David all visit Teddy    

in the hospital. In what ways did Teddy’s arrival in their lives    

bring them all together? How might this story have turned out    

differently if Violet had never met Teddy at the health fair?    

14. In Leo Tolstoy’s    

Anna Karenina,   

Anna is miserable in a loveless 


marriage and recklessly succumbs to her desire for the dashing  


. What similarities do you see between Tolstoy’s   Vronsky


novel and    

This One Is Mine?15. What other books did     

This One Is Mine   

remind you of? What 


was similar or different about them?  


To learn more about Maria and her books , visit here :    

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Title: This One Is Mine
Author: Maria Semple
Book Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Book Type: Hardcover 304 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: December 2008

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Many more reviews here.    

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