Archives for posts with tag: romance

The Thursday, September 19, 2019 All Good Books group meeting will discuss “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. We’ll meet at 7 pm in the Community of Christ Church Library (7842 Mission Road, Prairie Village, Kansas).

Some possible discussion questions on the novel follow:

  1. Would you recommend “Where the Crawdads Sing” to a fellow reader? Why and how would you describe it (romance, coming of age, murder mystery)?
  2. On the first page of the novel, the narrator states, “A swamp knows all about death, and doesn’t necessarily define it as tragedy, certainly not a sin.” What’s the general and specific meaning of that passage?
  3. What was Kya’s greatest concern and handicap? Why?
  4. Early in the reading of the novel, did you consider the death of one of the characters an accident or murder? If the latter, who did you initially suspect was the murderer? Did your prime suspect change as you read the novel?
  5. Why was it important for the narrator to tell the reader Kya’s history (childhood) as well as the history of the marsh people?
  6. In what ways was Tate, Kya’s hero? Her betrayer?
  7. Tate’s dad, Scupper, told him that “the definition of a real man is one who cries without shame, reads poetry with his heart, feels opera in his soul, and does what’s necessary to defend a woman.” Do you agree? How would you add or subtract from that definition?
  8. Why was Pa abusive to his wife and children? What event in his life did the narrator suggest contributed to his violent anger? What’s your reaction to Pa’s response to the event?
  9. As Kya learns to read, she encounters a sentence that reads “There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot.” Her response to the sentence is spoken in a whisper, “I wadn’t aware that words could hold so much. I didn’t know a sentence could be so full.” What does she mean and what meaning do you think she found in the sentence?
  10. Describe the relationship between Kya and Chase? What was Chase’s motivation to be with Kya? Why did he always wear the shell necklace around his neck?
  11. Amanda Hamilton’s poetry is sprinkled throughout the novel. What was significant about Hamilton’s poetry?
  12. The final Hamilton poem in the novel is “The Firefly.” What is it’s significance?
  13. What is the meaning of the novel’s title? Where is the place where the crawdads sing?
  14. How important is “nature” to the structure, meaning and plot of the novel? 
  15. Are the characters and storyline in the novel believable? Realistic?
  16. Were you happy with the ending of the story?

The All Good Books group will meet on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 7 PM in the Community of Christ (7842 Mission Road, Prairie Village, Kansas) Church Library to discuss “Crazy Rich Asians” by Kevin Kwan. This meeting date is one week later than normal in the month.

The publisher has provided discussion questions that are available online.

The book club’s schedule is also available at online and includes books to be discussed and meeting dates.

The All Good Books group will discuss With Love, Wherever You Are
by Dandi Daley Mackall at our next meeting on Thursday, January 17, 2019.

As usual, we’ll meet at the Community of Christ Mission Road Congregation (7842 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS) at 7 PM.

Here are some discussion questions that appear in the back of the book as published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Discussion Questions

  1. A pivotal experience in her childhood made Helen resolve she’d grow up to be a nurse, while Frank followed his father’s footsteps into medicine. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? What experiences or family influences shaped your vocation?
  2. When do you think Frank actually fell in love with Helen? When did Helen admit that she’d fallen in love with Frank?
  3. Faced with the prospect of being separated by the war, Frank and Helen made a swift decision to marry. Would you have been among the friends who cheered them on or those who asked if they’d lost their minds? Why?
  4. Both before and after their wedding, Helen and Frank had moments of doubt about their marriage, especially about how well they truly knew each other. What things would you list as essential to know about another person before marrying? What kinds of things can be learned over time?
  5. Having only letters to connect them for weeks and even months left Helen and Frank vulnerable to misunderstandings. Once, as she endured long days with no word from Frank, Helen filled in her own assumptions about what he was thinking and feeling, only to learn that he hadn’t received her letters at all. In Helen’s place, would you have jumped to the same conclusions? Can you think of a time when you constructed your own story about another person during a gap in communication? How much of what you believed was the truth?
  6. Frank showed his jealousy a couple of times, most notably over Colonel Pugh and the trip to Paris. Helen also admitted her jealousy over Nurse Becky and Marie, the young French patient in Marseille. How did they handle moments of jealousy? Have you ever been jealous—of a spouse, a friend, a family member? How did you handle it?
  7. What characteristics would you say are necessary for an enduring marriage? Which of these did you see Frank and Helen exhibiting, or learning, throughout the story? Where did they still need to grow?
  8. Faced with the prospects of battles and bombings, Frank wondered, “What was it that made one man buck up, another act heroically, and another give in to terror?” How would you answer his question?
  9. Frank came to find comfort and courage from a verse of Psalm 23: “I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.” How do you respond to fear?
  10. Frank was quick to tell others that Dotty and Jack were the heroes in his family—not him. Why do you think he was reluctant to take on a “hero” label? How would you define a hero, and who has been one in your life?
  11. For much of the story, Helen lived by the motto “God helps those who help themselves.” But when she’s forced to acknowledge how much is out of her control, Naomi advises her that a better motto might be “God helps most when you admit you can’t do it on your own.” Which motto do you believe and live by?
  12. This novel is fiction, but based on the experiences and letters of the real-life Frank and Helen Daley. How much do you know about your parents’ or grandparents’ histories? Can you think of any family stories that would make good fiction? If you were to write those stories, where might you have to use your imagination to fill in gaps or flesh out the details?
  13. In her note to readers, the author makes a distinction between some true and invented pieces of this story—for example, Dotty’s story adheres to the facts, but in real life, Bill Chitwood wasn’t blinded, and Major Bradford didn’t exist. As a reader, did it matter to you to learn that some of the characters were invented or their stories changed? Why or why not?
  14. During World War II, Japanese and German citizens living in the US fell under cruel suspicion, and overseas, Helen faces some of the same prejudice because of her ability to speak to wounded German soldiers. In her place, how would you have responded to such suspicion? Would you have had difficulty caring for enemy soldiers?
  15. Helen and Frank were part of what’s been called “the Greatest Generation.” What qualities have earned them this title? What names have you heard for your generation? Do you think the perception of your generation is justified?
  16. Helen and Frank wrote to each other as many as three times a day, but slow and waylaid mail often meant long gaps in communication. Censorship made it hard to freely say all they might have wanted to. How different might their story have been if they’d had access to today’s instant communication? What difficulties due to their separation would have remained the same? With our new technology and the ability to stay in touch virtually all over the globe, do you think we’ve lost anything?