Study Guide

Serena Love

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It's the stuff of Shakespeare and Hollywood, and we know a great love story when we see it. Perhaps surprisingly, Serena checks all of the right boxes. Let's take a look. Two people who adore each other and promise to stay together forever? Check. A partnership that no one else quite understands? Double check. Dedication through thick and thin? Check. One lover murders the other? Wait… what? Serena throws us—and the love story—for a loop when our heroine offs her hubby. We're left wondering how real her love for him was in the first place, especially when she admits that she has no regrets.

Let's just say some love affairs aren't for the timid…

Questions About Love

  1. How do Serena and Pemberton express their love to one another? Is their love genuine? Why or why not?
  2. At what point does Serena decide to murder Pemberton? Do you think her feelings for him have changed?
  3. Serena calls their love life "a kind of annihilation" (1.149). What do you think this means? How does it relate to the fire? Why does Pemberton suddenly get it after the house burns down?
  4. Why does Rachel try not to love her son? How does her dad's love for her compare to her love for Jacob?

Chew on This

Serena's so-called love for Pemberton is just a phase and she ditches him once she realizes she can get what she wants without him.

Pemberton and Serena share a passionate, all-consuming love for one another. Even after they commit the most despicable acts, they are still in love with one another.

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