SCPL Online NonFiction Book Club discussion

Juliet's Answer: One Man's Search for Love and the Elusive Cure for Heartbreak
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Juliet's Answer > Advice on Love

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SCPL (st_catharines_public_library) | 542 comments Mod
Currently, there are 43 secretaries for the Juliet Club who are responding to over 10,000 letters per year. While reading some of the letters that the author was struggling to respond to (particularly the woman with cystic fibrosis), I wondered if I would be able to be a good secretary for Juliet with the ability to write back empathetic and heartfelt advice and encouragement without sounding trite and cliché in my responses!

(Look in the video section of the group to watch interviews with Juliet’s secretaries.)

Do you think Juliet’s secretaries all have a common trait? Do you think you could manage to be one of them?

Heidi Madden | 118 comments 43!!! I didn’t realize there were so many but I guess it makes sense. That is a LOT of letters to respond to. I don’t think I’d make a good secretary. I’m not particularly empathetic. Especially to strangers. I’m amazed by how many of the secretaries have been there for such a long time. Over 20 years responding to people’s love woes? That takes amazing fortitude.

SCPL (st_catharines_public_library) | 542 comments Mod
I completely agree Heidi! I would also find it difficult to be empathetic and respond to letters, though from different people, might be mind-numbingly identical in content. It seems to me, though, that the author's description of some of these secretaries doesn't really indicate that they're particularly empathetic either. Perhaps they simply take on each letter logically and respond in that way. All the same, as you said, it must take a lot of fortitude! That must be why they have so many - so that they can share the burden!

Lillian (ladylil) I think it would take special person to go through all those letters and respond thoughtfully to each. I can see how easy it would be to get cynical and start being sarcastic and flip with the answers.

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