1. What do you think about Paula’s decision to take Mary on the trip, given the antipathy in the deep south post Brown v. Board?
2. Why does Puddin so often try to hide or run away? What does her behavior say about the family?
3. Why didn’t Paula try to stop Bill from beating Jubie?
4. Is Uncle Taylor a racist?
5. Why did the clown at Joyland by the Sea give Jubie a rose?
6. If you’d been Paula (or Bill) what would you have done when Cordelia failed to appear for dinner? How could they have handled that differently?
7. Why does Paula take Bill back after his affair with her brother’s wife?
8. Did Bill and Paula act responsibly as parents when they allowed Jubie and Stell to go with Mary to the Daddy Grace parade in Charlotte? The tent meeting in Claxton?
9. Why didn’t Paula punish Jubie for stealing the Packard to go to Mary’s Funeral?
10. What drove Stamos to suicide?
11. Which major character changes the most? The least?
12. Which character in the book did you identify with the most? The least?
13. If you could interview Jubie, what would you ask her? What about Mary? Paula? Bill? Stell?
14. If Bill died at the end of the book, what would his obituary say if Paula wrote it? If Stell wrote it? If Jubie wrote it?
15. Given that there’s little hope for Jubie and Leesum to be friends in 1954, what would it be like for them if they met again today?
(Questions issued by publisher.)
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