Discussion #2 & Final Wrap-Up: True Colors

February 28, 2009

Finally, let’s get a move on with our second and final discussion of book #31 True Colors by Kristin Hannah. Following are a few questions pulled out of the air, but feel free to add any of your own that you would like to discuss here:

  • Which main characters find true love in this novel? Which ones settle and with what results?
  • Was Winona selfish in seeking Dallas’ exoneration? What did she eventually achieve?
  • In the end, realization of the true meaning of “family” took center stage. Did you find Henry Grey’s bitter stubbornness tragic?
  • Did Vivi ever really give up hope for Dallas’ freedom even after she signed the divorce papers?
  • What purpose(s) did Noah’s journaling for Mrs. Ivers eventually serve?
  • How well/not so well did the Grey family garden turn out after all was said and done?
  • Rating alert: On a scale from 1 to 10 (1=hated with a passion, 10=completely adored), what do you give True Colors? Interested in reading more novels by Kristin Hannah?

Post away! Also, we’re currently on the lookout for our next book – got a recommendation for book #32?


Discussion #1: True Colors

February 23, 2009

Ready or not, here it comes – Discussion #1 of book 31 True Colors by Kristin Hannah. Not ready? Be warned! Stop back again later so as not to encounter any spoilers in reading the following discussion questions:

  • True Colors starts out with the three preteen sisters, Pea (Winona), Bean (Vivi Ann) & Sprout (Aurora) at the time just after their mother’s death. How did their personalities foreshadow what was to come later in the book?
  • What role did the sisters’ father play in the way each of the women developed emotionally throughout the first half of the novel? Is he successful in “taking care of the garden” as their mother requested?
  • Do you think Winona should have taken Aurora’s advice early on in Vivi Ann and Luke’s romance? How might the story have changed if she had?
  • Why did Winona, the supposed ‘smartest’ of the sisters, choose to hire Dallas as the farm hand without checking into his background first? What initially attracted her to hire him? In what way was Vivi Ann so quickly drawn to Tattoo Boy at Outlaw Tavern?
  • Do you find the sisters to be codependent on one another as a result of their mother’s death? In what ways do they support each other? How did the subsequent rift between the sisters negatively impact their lives?
  • Is Dallas bluffing by giving Vivi Ann the impression that he was the guilty party in Cat’s death? Why or why not? Do you think Vivi’s extreme naiveté flawed her decision-making abilities? Is she too hopeful?
  • What are your thoughts on Kristin Hannah’s writing style? Have you ever read any of her other novels? Are you interested in reading more by this author?

As always, discussion is not limited to these questions. Got any others? We’ll take ’em!

Book #31 Release

February 19, 2009

*drumroll here* And now friends, let’s go ahead with the formal announcement of our bookclub #31 choice, True Colors. The author of this novel, Kristin Hannah, is a newbie to our bookclub. Welcome! And well, the bookclub administrator humbly admits to purchasing this book after seeing it’s lovely cover on the way into the local Barnes & Noble bookstore. Online reviews confirm that readers actually enjoyed this book – hence the final selection.

How’s that for a process? Better than rocket science.

So once again, go ahead and download that audible, borrow a copy from the library, visit your local bookstore, or click into Amazon’s site here: True Colors. Stay tuned to the book #31 web page under ‘Books‘ in the right-hand sidebar where you can find our reading timeline and discussion posts. Piece of cake!

Knitting skills not required.

Discussion #2 & Final Wrap-Up: Knit Two

February 16, 2009

Guess what, Chicken Lit’ers? You got it – time for our second and final discussion on book #30, Knit Two, by Kate Jacobs. Shall we finish up with the rest of Jacobs’ reader guide questions? But of course:

  • Did Lucie make the right decision in not telling Will that he was Ginger’s father? Darwin advised her to “think long and hard before you throw a nuclear bomb into his happy family life.” Would you have thrown the bomb? Should Lucie have?
  • How would this story have been different if Anita had not been reunited with Sarah in Rome?
  • When she reaches out to K.C., Catherine tells her: “I’m still trying to define myself. I embraced my independence but somehow everything is just all about me. I am totally self-focused.” Do you think Catherine has “defined herself” by the end of the book?
  • After the flood at Walker and Daughter, Dakota and Peri decide to rebuild. Is this the right decision? How would their lives have changed—perhaps for the better—if they had not rebuilt the store Georgia founded?
  • In her acknowledgments, author Kate Jacobs says “Like the members of the club, I am fortunate to be surrounded by smart, independent women who come through for me whenever I need a helping hand.” What’s the “club” that fills that role in your life?
  • Now’s your chance to rate the novel. On a scale from 1 to 10 (1=completely horrid, 10=amazingly stupendous), what do you give Knit Two?

Post away – and why not give us a suggestion for book #31 while you’re at it? We’re all about welcoming suggestions, you know. Seriously.

Discussion #1: Knit Two

February 10, 2009

So are you ready to chat about Knit Two, by Kate Jacobs? Let’s go ahead and open our first discussion on book #30 with these questions, hand-picked from Jacobs’ reader guide:

  • “The desire to keep everything as it had once been—to freeze time—remained very strong among the group of friends.” In what ways did the ladies of the Friday Night Knitting Club manage to keep things as they were? Have the changes made after Georgia’s death been a positive or a negative for the members of the club?
  • “Having children had never been a question when Anita was young; it was simply the expected order of things. Marriage meant babies and babies meant marriage. Still, it was nice that things were different [now]. Could be different. Anita believed in having options. On the other hand, sometimes it was hard to know which end was up these days.” Which part of being a single mother does Anita feel is “nice” and which makes things seem like “it was hard to know which end was up these days?” Is that a statement about the stigma of unwed motherhood? Or about the hectic pace of single mothers’ lives? Or both?
  • In her haze of exhaustion and stress, Lucie agonizes: “When was it going to make sense? When was she going to wake up and not feel tired? When was it going to feel all right?” Is she typical of women today? Is Lucie’s experience as a single mom more stressful than Anita’s, where “the expected order of things” made all the decisions for her?
  • Catherine always feels out of step with the other members of the club, and at one point reflects: “She wasn’t like the others. It was the one reason why she never really fit in. They were all quite…typical. And she, well, she was different.” Is she really? Why? What, if anything, makes the other members of the group “typical” compared to Catherine?
  • Lucie is forced to defend herself when her brother accuses her of being selfish and not seeing how much help her mother needs: “There’s no rule that a daughter has to do more than a son, and there’s sure as hell no rule that single people should give up their lives so married people get a break.” Is this true? Do you think Lucie’s brothers are being unreasonable? Is Lucie being punished for her life choices or simply being forced to acknowledge that she’s being pulled in different directions? How would you have reacted to that conversation?
  • Discussion of grief and loss runs through both Knit Two and The Friday Night Knitting Club. As Anita says “We grieve loss. It’s not always about death.” What are Anita, Dakota, Catherine, Darwin, Lucie and K.C. grieving for? Are the men of the book—James, Marty and Nathan—also experiencing grief or loss?

… or any other questions you care to discuss? Bring on your comments!