This Thursday, February 9, 2012, the All Good Books group will meet to discuss Jodi Picoult’s book “Sing You Home at the Community of Christ church at the corner of 79th Street and Mission Road in Prairie Village, Kansas (7842 Mission Road). We’ll meet in the church Library at 7 PM. Here are some question and ideas that may generate some discussion for Thursday night.

  1. What one thing did you learn from reading “Sing You Home?”
  2. Why is the book titled “Sing You Home?”
  3. Is the author’s depiction of the gay lifestyle fair or biased? Do you think the depiction of conservative Christianity in the book is fair and accurate?
  4. Vanessa mentally ponders what it’s like to be gay and encounter prejudice (pages 94-95). What, if anything, did you learn from her reflections?
  5. Vanessa and Zoe discuss the “homosexual agenda” on page 131 (hardcover edition).  From Wikipedia the Homosexual agenda(or gay agenda) is described as:“a term used by some conservatives in the United States to describe the advocacy of cultural acceptance and normalization of non-heterosexual orientations and relationships. The term is applied to efforts to change government policies and laws on LGBT issues (e.g., same-sex marriage, LGBT adoption, recognizing sexual orientation as a civil rights minority classification, LGBT military participation, inclusion of LGBT history and themes in public education), as well as non-governmental campaigns and individual actions that increase visibility and cultural acceptance of LGBT people, relationships, and identities. The term has also been used by social conservatives to describe supposed goals of LGBT rights activists for which they themselves have never advocated, such as ‘recruiting’ heterosexuals into ‘the homosexual lifestyle’.”What are your thoughts on the existence of a gay agenda and its objectives?
  6. Wikipedia defines a mix tape as “a compilation of songs recorded in a specific order….” The mix tape can be on any media including cassette tape or CD. On page 134-136, Zoe asks, “What songs would be on a mix tape that describes you?” How would you answer that question? Do you have a mix tape?
  7. What was your reaction to Vanessa’s cautionary tale about Bazooka gum and the X-ray glasses (page 154-155)? Have you had a similar experience?
  8. What’s the message behind the dead man on the train story (page 163-164)? Why did the author include it?
  9. Before reading the book, were you aware of the Jewish tradition of having the groom smash a wine glass at the end of the wedding ceremony? Did you know why that act is incorporated into the ceremony?
  10. In numerous passages the novel discusses marriage. Did the book make you rethink marriage in anyway?  For instance, Zoe describes her marriage to Vanessa as “every day is a negotiation” (page 204). Is that a good thing in a marriage or a bad thing? Zoe on page 237 says, “there is a difference between mending someone who’s broken and finding someone who makes you complete.”  Do you agree? Is marriage one or the other or both?
  11. Zoe questions whether Pastor Clive “has ever considered what Jesus would think of his tactics” in the last paragraph on page 211. Is the description of Jesus in that paragraph accurate? Would Jesus condone the efforts of Pastor Clive and his church?
  12. The novel presents the conservative Christian (biblical) basis for its anti-gay stance. Were you aware of the scriptures mentioned? That is, Romans 1:26-27 (page 256), and additional references (Romans 1:26-27, I Corinthians 6:9-10) on pages 342-343. Were you aware of the scriptures mentioned by Angela in her defense of Zoe and Vanessa? That is, Mark 10:1-12 (divorce), Deuteronomy 25:11-12 (fighting), Deuteronomy 22:20-21 (virginity) on pages 387-388. How do you reconcile or view these biblically based arguments by both sides in the debate?