Take a leap and fall in love with 1957 Buffalo!

Fans of history will love the accurate depiction of life in 1957 era Buffalo and fans of love will become entangled in the star-crossed connection between Josie and Jack. A journey of self-discovery, Our Invisible String explores the disappointment, hope and empowerment, that anyone who has been in love will recognize.

Great for book clubs and classrooms! Make the story come alive by scheduling a book-talk!

Whether you are looking for an informal book discussion or a multimedia presentation about the real history behind the story, I would LOVE to spend some time with you!  Email me at jlwoite@yahoo.com and prepare take a trip through history!

Educational Materials

Want to know more about the real life people and places in the story?

Explore 1957 historical materials here!


Get the Conversation Started!

Use these talking points to jump start your discussion.

General Questions:

  1. Each chapter of the book begins with a famous quote. Explain the relationship you see between the quote and the events of the chapter.
  2. This story is told entirely from Josie’s perspective.  What do you believe Jack was thinking throughout the book?  Do you think Josie was interpreting Jack’s feelings accurately?
  3. Explain the symbolism of the key that Josie wears around her neck.
  4. Josie admits to having a strong connection to music and there are a number of pop-songs that follow her through the book. Pick one and explain how the lyrics relate to the story.
  5. There are several “oldies” songs mentioned throughout the book. If you had to pick a modern song to put in this story, what would it be and why?

Chapter Questions:

  1. The Prologue begins with an adult Josie applying the Five Stages of Grief to her teenage relationship with Jack. Do you think applying those stages to a lost love is fair? Why or why not?
  2. In the Prologue and January, Josie explains how society prevented her from having a relationship with Jack.  Obviously society was wrong in condemning a relationship between people based on religion and social status. Even so, how do you feel about Josie’s decision to forfeit a relationship with Jack to protect her family?  Does her failure to challenge their prejudice make her part of the problem or was putting her family first the choice you would have made?  Ask yourself these questions again after you finish the book.
  3. In February, Jack is clearly flirting with Josie at the children’s center. While Josie tries to deny it to herself, do you think Jack knows what he’s doing or is he in denial too?
  4. In March, Josie sees Jack and his new girlfriend at a festival. Explain whether you think the events of this day helped Josie work though the denial phase.
  5. In April, May and June, death is a prevalent  theme (The Death Song Incident, The Kiss of Death, The Death Fall Challenge, the Forest Lawn Cemetery field trip). What do you make of this symbolism?  How do you think this relates to the Anger stage of grief?
  6. In May, Josie and Jack go on a scavenger hunt Forest Lawn Cemetery and spend some time at the Blocher Monument. Explain the symbolism of this monument with respect to the story.  What do you see as the similarities and/or differences between their story and the legend behind the monument?
  7. When Josie and Jack go on a May field trip Forest Lawn Cemetery, Josie notices Jack being drawn to the cherry blossoms. Explain the significance of the cherry blossoms and how they relate to Josie and Jack’s relationship.
  8. Pick one of the famous “residents” mentioned as part of the May Forest Lawn Cemetery field trip and tell us more about them.
  9. In June, Josie and Jack end up at Akron Falls for the “Death Fall Challenge” and we learn about the legend of Murder Creek. How do you think this legend connects to the story? Why does Josie hope Grey Wolf would be proud of her?
  10. Explain why the June  “Death Fall Challenge” at Akron Falls is a turning point in the story for both Jack and Josie.
  11. In July, August and September, Josie and Jack spend a lot of time cruising in his convertible. Explain the significance of Jack’s convertible and how it helped shape his relationship with Josie.
  12. In September, do you think Jack is purposely encouraging Josie to challenge their limits or is Josie simply becoming less able to control her feelings?  Is it maybe a combination of both?
  13. In October, Jack gets a girlfriend. Why do you think he did it?  Did he really like her?  Did he want to make his parents happy?  Was he trying to push Josie away?  Was he trying to replace her?  Was it something else?  Explain.
  14. In November, Josie has an absolute meltdown after seeing Jack on a poster for the All Star Game. She tried to explain it away, but why do YOU think it happened?
  15. Josie’s best friend, Dakota Rose, never asks questions or interferes with anything regarding Josie’s “friendship” with Jack. In December she finally says something. Do you think staying out of it all year makes her a good best friend or a bad best friend?
  16. How does having Jack in her life help Josie transform throughout the year? Compare December Josie to January Josie.
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