She Regrets Nothing

A Novel

LIST PRICE $7.99

About The Book

Named a “Must-Read” by Town & Country * Elite Daily * InStyle

“The love child of Gossip Girl and Crazy Rich Asians, plus the social climbing of a Gatsby party.” —Refinery29

In the tradition of The Emperor’s Children and The House of Mirth, the forgotten granddaughter of one of New York’s wealthiest men is reunited with her family just as she comes of age—and once she’s had a glimpse of their glittering world, she refuses to let it go without a fight.

When Laila Lawrence becomes an orphan at twenty-three, the sudden loss unexpectedly introduces her to three glamorous cousins from New York who show up unannounced at her mother’s funeral. The three siblings are scions of the wealthy family from which Laila’s father had been estranged long before his own untimely demise ten years before.

Two years later, Laila has left behind her quiet life in Grosse Point, Michigan to move to New York City, landing her smack in the middle of her cousins’ decadent world. As the truth about why Laila’s parents became estranged from the family patriarch becomes clear, Laila grows ever more resolved to claim what’s rightfully hers. Caught between longing for the love of her family and her relentless pursuit of the lifestyle she feels she was unfairly denied, Laila finds herself reawakening a long dead family scandal—not to mention setting off several new ones—as she becomes further enmeshed in the lives and love affairs of her cousins. But will Laila ever, truly, belong in their world? Sly and sexy, She Regrets Nothing is a sharply observed and utterly seductive tale about family, fortune, and fate—and the dark side of wealth.

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for She Regrets Nothing includes an 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.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. What were your first impressions of the Lawrences (Liberty, Leo, Nora, Laila, Ben, and Petra)? Did your sense of any of their personalities change over the course of the book? How so?

2. On page 62, Laila describes her tendency to transform herself into what she thinks people around her want as “mirroring.” Have you ever found yourself mirroring others? Using examples from the book or your own life, discuss whether mirroring seems like an effective tactic for building relationships, or reaching any other goal. Where is the line between trying to fit in and being manipulative?

3. While wealth disparity creates an obvious distinction in power and influence, She Regrets Nothing also portrays the way beauty and youth can be strong sources of privilege. What are some of the instances in the novel when the clout of wealth, beauty, and youth are at odds with each other? Do you think one holds more sway over people than the others?

4. There are several examples of the different timelines men and women seem to be given for settling down, from Reece’s surprise that her brother Cameron would be interested in having a family when he is “only thirty-six” (p. 102) to Petra’s insistence that Nora use a matchmaker to find her a husband since her “options won’t get better” (p. 45) now that she is twenty-five. When Nora insists that things have changed—that men don’t only want twenty-five year olds, and that women can find good husbands at older ages—Petra suggests everyone is only pretending things aren’t the way they were in her day. Do you agree with Petra, or do you think she is overstating the matter? What are some other examples from the book of the consequences of the divergent expectations for men and women?

6. On her way to Thanksgiving dinner with her cousins, Laila reassures herself by mentally iterating some of the glamorous facts about her current life, noting that “as she formed the words in her head, they felt true and not true.” What do you think she means by this?

7. As a young, pretty Midwesterner, Laila is seen as naive and unassuming by the more urbane New Yorkers around her. Although at times she takes advantage of the impression people have of her, Laila does express frustration at not understanding the rules of the new social world she is in. What are some of the moments in the book where the reader sees her ignorance? Ultimately, to what extent do you think Laila feigned the role of a clueless small-town girl, and to what extent was that really who she was?

8. The novel seems to distinguish between characters who wear their privilege and status well, and those who do not. What are the hallmarks of each type of person? What are both the external circumstances and innate qualities that seem to make some individuals—Liberty, Reece, Blake—more redeemable than others?

9. Laila is in many ways a fiercely ambitious and emotionally independent woman, and yet repeatedly finds herself financially dependent on the men in her life. Is there power in being a “kept” woman? Which do you think grants greater freedom: working a job that isn’t your passion and supporting yourself, or never having to work again but being tethered to a man you aren’t in love with?

10. In chapter 18, Leo and Nora imagine leading idyllic “normal” lives outside of Manhattan, conjuring cinematic images of an upper middle–class existence. What would your perfect life be like? Do you think there is an ideal level of wealth that provides comfort and opportunity, but avoids the types of problems Leo, Nora, and Liberty believe having an abundance of money creates? If so, what would that look like, and is it different from the fantasy life you initially imagined?

11. Do you think Laila deserves a portion of the Lawrence fortune? Did Liberty deserve the money? Why, or why not?

12. In the epilogue, Laila envisions herself as a “beautiful, young, unencumbered” girl with “only the brightest of futures . . . unstoppable and untethered . . . She is the master of her fate, and she regrets nothing.” Do you think Laila really has no regrets, or does she just wish to be the girl she is describing?

Enhance Your Book Club

1. Put the “club” in book club—consider having everyone in your reading group come made up in their “Manhattan socialite” best. Put together an outfit fit for an exclusive nightclub in New York City, crack a bottle of champagne to share, or bring some New York-style cheesecake bites to add a flare of luxury to your discussion.

2. At the end of She Regrets Nothing, Laila is on a flight to the Maldives to escape New York and make a fresh start. Imagine what will happen in her new life. Will she live with Maxime or find another way to survive in the Maldives without any money? Will she settle down or keep moving, leaving another life behind? Will she ever find a way to maintain the luxurious lifestyle she craves? Will her actions in New York catch up to her, and will she ever regret her choices? Consider writing a denouement that addresses some of these or your own questions about Laila’s future, and share with your reading group.

3. Consider reading the New York Times opinion piece, “What the Rich Won’t Tell You” (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/08/opinion/sunday/what-the-rich-wont-tell-you.html). What are some parallels between how the interviewees discuss and/or justify their wealth, and how the characters in She Regrets Nothing view their own abundance? What differences do you see? The New York Times article takes a strong position on the rhetoric and behavior of the upper class—do you agree with the author’s point of view? How might some of the Lawrences respond to reading this?

4. Visit Andrea Dunlop’s website at www.AndreaDunlop.net to learn more about her and her books, and consider reading her debut Losing the Light or her enovella Broken Bay for another darkly seductive read.

About The Author

Photograph by Matthew Land

Andrea Dunlop is the author of We Came Here to Forget, She Regrets Nothing, Losing the Light, and Broken Bay. She lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, where she works as a social media consultant.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Washington Square Press (February 2018)
  • Length: 400 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781501155994

Raves and Reviews

Praise for She Regrets Nothing:

“A sharp, glittering story of wealth, family, and fate and one’s woman search to find her place in it all.”

– Buzzfeed

"She Regrets Nothing is the love child of Gossip Girl and Crazy Rich Asians, plus the social climbing of a Gatsby party."

– Refinery29

“This deliciously entertaining novel is a spellbinding story about the dark side of wealth.”

– Bustle

“A seductive tale about family, fortune, and the forgotten granddaughter of one of New York’s wealthiest men.”

– Redbook

“An addicting story about family, greed, blackmail, New York, you name it. Oh, and the drama. There’s plenty of drama.”

– HelloGiggles

"Readers who follow New York trends will enjoy the stories of fashion, clubs, and restaurants Dunlop builds to a gripping climax while delving into questions of family, loyalty, lust, wealth, power, and betrayal."

– Library Journal

“Like a Gossip Girl for grownups, Dunlop’s latest looks at Manhattan society from the outsider’s perspective and is replete with fashion, sex, and glitzy locations…Laila is a compellingly conniving character.”

– Booklist

"She Regrets Nothing made me feel like I'm back in high school, staying up late to finish that special book, the one that's part enriching classic family saga novel assigned by the teacher, part salacious, nasty page-turner about impossible rich kids. Andrea Dunlop infuses this story with insight into family dynamics, which makes She Regrets Nothing especially rich and multifaceted, engrossing. Fans of Becky Sharp and Brenda Walsh, this is your lucky day."

– Caroline Kepnes, author of Hidden Bodies

"Laila Laurence and her family are people I am thrilled not to know personally and was equally thrilled to spend a few hours following around New York City in all the best clothes and shoes to all the best clubs and parties. She Regrets Nothing is addictive, dark, and twisty and, like its characters, delightfully conniving."

– Laurie Frankel, author of This is How it Always Is

"Get ready to drop everything and lose yourself in how the other half lives. Andrea Dunlop's deliciously addictive new novel has it all: old money, big secrets, a privileged family, and a ruthless social climber trying desperately to shed her arriviste status and become one of them. A spot on social critique with perfectly executed plot twists, She Regrets Nothing is modern day Edith Wharton meets Gossip Girl. Blair Waldorf would certainly approve."

– Karin Tanabe, author of The Gilded Years

"Andrea Dunlop has done it again! As she did so well in Losing the Light, Dunlop has created unforgettable characters and a setting so richly drawn, the reader is immersed in the drama until the last engaging page. She Regrets Nothing is an entertaining, compelling story of family, class, and the yearning to belong."

– Amy Poeppel, author of Small Admissions

Praise for Losing the Light:

One of Redbook's Best Books of 2016

"Who doesn't fantasize about a sexy and passionate romance with a hot foreigner?"

– PopSugar

"A complicated friendship, a disastrous affair with a professor, and intoxicating relationships factor in making this an unforgettable trip."

– Buzzfeed

"A haunting story of betrayal within a beautiful portrait of youth."

– Kirkus Reviews

"Dunlop’s smart and suspenseful debut follows the lead of Katie Crouch’s Abroad (2014) and Jennifer duBois’ Cartwheel (2013), but delves more deeply into the repercussions beyond a shocking incident during a year abroad. Dunlop richly evokes the heady emotions of friendship, lust, and betrayal."

– Booklist

“Dunlop’s writing is effervescent, but wise…the story, which is as much about love, lust and longing as it is about the intricacies and potential pitfalls of close, obsessive friendship, also offers a truly lovely depiction of France.”

– Globe and Mail

"In her debut, Dunlop writes of a fizzy, decadent world, filled with the intense relationships that young love brings, whether that feeling is for a person or for a beautiful location."

– Library Journal

"Love triangles can haunt you forever. This gorgeously written debut novel centers around one woman being seduced by European high life while on a study abroad trip in France. It's an exotic escape and a literary escape at the same time."

– Redbook

"The story of a young girl studying abroad in France who gets sucked into a world of love and lust. This unraveling tale is absolutely haunting."

– SheKnows

"It's got Gainsbourg's ‘Sea, Sex, and Sun’ plus red wine and betrayal—a compulsively readable debut about forever friendships that can't last."

– Courtney Maum, bestselling author of I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You

"Losing the Light is a smart, sexy, thrilling novel. Andrea Dunlop's debut brilliantly captures the tension and sharp edges of female friendships, infatuation, and life abroad. You will feel transported to France, as if you yourself are speaking French and drinking a little too much wine with your best friend and a dangerously handsome man."

– Taylor Jenkins Reid, Author of Maybe in Another Life

"There are so many coming-of-age novels in the world about the young, innocent girl making her way in the world. And yet, Losing the Light is really something special. Andrea Dunlop has a keen sense of what a modern woman on the cusp of her twenties might truly desire, fear, and be tempted by. Her characters are unapologetic and troublesome, yet intensely likable. On top of that, she sets the book in a French town and feeds you wine and men the whole way through. Oh, and there’s a murder mystery. Seduced yet? You should be. This is a lovely debut."

– Katie Crouch, New York Times bestselling author of Girls in Trucks and Abroad

"Andrea Dunlop's captivating debut ardently delivers the thrill and joy and exquisite pain of being young and in love: with a friend, with a lover, with a country, with a life, with the future. I felt myself twenty and in France with nothing but heady enchantment before me. Losing the Light is utterly transporting."

– Laurie Frankel, The Atlas of Love

“A heady cocktail of nostalgia, a seductive Frenchman, a passionate love triangle, a mysterious disappearance: Seattle author Andrea Dunlop weaves an intriguing story about 30-year-old Brooke, now newly engaged,and her recollections of student days a decade earlier in France with her bubbly, blond buddy Sophie...Losing the Light is a love letter to France — the cafes, the language, the 'fierce elegance' of Parisiennes, the sun-drenched beauty of Cap Ferrat. Dunlop brilliantly recreates the tempestuous, 'anything is possible' whirlwind of emotions that accompany Brooke’s coming of age, with the dizzying heights and depths of feeling...A thoughtful, assured debut.”
 

– The Seattle Times

"In Losing the Light, Andrea Dunlop takes readers on an intense, smart, sexy adventure, giving major The Talented Mr. Ripley vibes.”

– Working Mother

“This delicious literary indulgence is consuming and addictive…the perfect partner for every beach day this summer.”

– Sunset Magazine

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