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Friday Nights at Honeybee's (Smith) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
Use our LitLovers Book Club Resources; they can help with discussions for any book:

How to Discuss a Book (helpful discussion tips)
Generic Discussion Questions—Fiction and Nonfiction
Read-Think-Talk (a guided reading chart)

Also consider these LitLovers talking points to help get a discussion started for Friday Nights at Honeybee's

1. Talk about the differences between Viola and Forestine— their personalities and their backgrounds which led them to Honeybee's. Do you sympathize or identify with one over the other?

2. Is Viola to blame for her excommunication? What were her feelings toward her husband, and what was she looking for that she didn't find in her marriage?

3.What are the roles played by the two different mothers in this book? To what extent did they shape their daughters' lives? What about the fathers? Honeybee becomes a surrogate mother for both young women. How does she help them?

4. Would you enjoy the atmosphere at Honeybee's? Does Smith do a good job of picturing the boarding house, its smells and sounds, the characters who live there...and, of course, the wonderful music played there?

5. Do you feel you've learned something about, or gained a greater appreciation for, jazz, R & B, and blues?

6. What might Smith be suggesting as she explores the tug-of-war for women between pursuing careers vs. taking on the more tradition roles of wife and motherhood? How have those issues been resolved more than 40 years later? Are they resolved?

7. Do both women make the right decisions by the end of the book? What does each learn? Were you satisfied with the ending?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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