Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Book Club Discussion Questions for Carolina Girl

1. The opening line of Carolina Girl is "At thirty-four Megan Fletcher was determined not to turn into her mother." How does that statement make you feel?

2. As in Carolina Home, there are four point of view characters in Carolina Girl: Meg Fletcher; Sam Grady; matriarch Tess; and ten-year-old Taylor. Which character did you identify with the most? Which engaged you most emotionally? Why?

3. How does Meg's perception of her mother change after Tess's accident? Over the course of the book? On p. 282, Tess says,

"Sometimes love means taking turns. Finding compromises.” “Except you never got your turn. You were always the one who compromised.” “What do you mean?” “Even after Dad retired, you did what he wanted. Lived where he wanted. Moved back here.” “Meg . . .” Tess frowned, her familiar features transformed by the darkening cap of hair goo. “I thought you knew. That was my choice. Your father would have gone anywhere. Back to Chicago, if that’s what I wanted. My brother Nick would have taken me back into the restaurant. But I fell in love with North Carolina when your dad was stationed at Lejeune. You kids always liked it here. Running a bed-and-breakfast was my idea. The Pirates’ Rest is my dream.”
Her assertion surprises Meg. Did it surprise you? Why or why not?

4. What attracted Meg to Derek? How do you feel about her kissing Sam while she is still in a relationship with Derek? Is it cheating?

5. Meg and Sam's first sexual encounter in high school was less than perfect.

It hadn’t been all bad, she remembered. Even though he was drunk, even though she had no idea what she was doing, making out with Sam had been exciting. ... Meg drew an uneven breath. She could even look back now on the inevitable fumbling, painful outcome with a certain nostalgia. At least when Sam was laboring inside her—Oh,God, Meggie, you’re so tight—she’d felt like a necessary part of the process." p.161
How did you react to that description? Did you find their reactions believable?

6. What were Sam's strengths and weaknesses as a romantic hero?

7. How are Tom Fletcher and Carl Grady alike? How are they different? How does Carl's "hard-assed, hard-charging approach to business and to life" affect Sam personally and professionally? Do you think it has an impact on his relationship with Meg?

8. How did Meg's interactions with the secondary characters (Josh, Cynthie, Taylor) affect your perceptions of her?

9. Did Taylor change or grow over the course of the book? How do you feel about her story arc being unresolved at the end?

10. How do you feel about Meg's final decision regarding her career?

Bonus question :-) - The next story is about the youngest Fletcher sibling, Luke (Carolina Man, March 2014).

Who do you think the heroine will/should be?

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