Saturday, October 20, 2012

Book Club Discussion Questions for Carolina Home

1. There are four point of view characters in CAROLINA HOME: Matt, Allison, matriarch Tess, and ten-year-old Taylor. How did the Tess and Taylor’s viewpoints impact the story? Which character did you feel most emotionally connected to and why?

2. When Allison apologizes for her parents’ behavior at dinner, Matt excuses them. “They were being parents...[they] Want what’s best for you. And they know I’m not it.” What are Allison’s parents’ hopes and expectations for their children? How are they the same or different from Tom and Tess’s hopes for Matt, Meg, and Luke or Matt’s hopes for Josh?

3. How realistic did you find the small town, island setting? How did it add to the story?

4. There’s an eleven-year age difference between Matt and Allison. Did it bother you? Why or why not?

5. How does Tom’s example as a father influence Matt and Luke?

6. Matt left college to raise Josh. Do you agree or disagree with his decision? What do you think of his statement: "I worked damn hard to get where I am. To get what I need. That's enough for me"?

7. How did Matt’s interactions with Taylor affect your view of his character? What about his relationship with Josh? How does the presence of children affect the story?

8. Matt is a serial dater. Allison thinks she’d “had sex with other guys for less reason and certainly with less attraction.” They go to bed with each other pretty quickly. When does their relationship change? What do they offer each other besides sex?

9. Allison’s eagerness to experience life led her to try many different things. Do you she will be happy on Dare Island? Why or why not?

10. Matt remembers “watching his parents get ready to leave for some function on the base, his dad, tall and formal in his dress blues, his mom, unfamiliar in a dress that glittered and clung. The look of pride on his father’s face, the secret shining in his mother’s eyes. The same look they wore now, as if they were the only two people in the room, in the world. Matt had felt, well, weird seeing them that way for the first time, two grown-ups, two strangers, two characters in a story, as if he and his sister and brother were only spectators, minor participants in their parents’ fairy tale.” Why do you think the author chose to focus some scenes on Tom and Tess’s relationship? Did it add or subtract from your interest and enjoyment of the primary romance?

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