Discussion questions for book groups

While Earth Still Speaks

1.   Is Elizabeth justified in leaving Wendell? Why or why not?

2.   How do you explain Randy’s reaction to Elizabeth’s leaving?

3.   How would you feel if Angelica were your daughter?

4.   Are the people with whom Angelica affiliates really eco-terrorists?

5.   How does the image of Mary differ from the most common ones?

6.   What do you think of the interactions of the women who come to the farm?

7.   Why does Elizabeth finally decide to join the group Angelica is part of?

8.   What are the feminist themes of this novel?

9.    Ina J. Hughs has described Elizabeth as “something of a misfit and sometimes comic saint.” Do you agree?

9.   Why do you think the author decided to include Mary Surratt?

10.  How can you make your voice and life count?

Before It Was Legal

1.  What is a love story? Is this a love story?

2.  What in Anna’s background opened her mind to marrying Daniel?

3.  What surprised you about racism in Indiana?

4.  How did Daniel’s union years affect their marriage?

5.  Was the move to Mexico City the right thing to do? Why or why not?

6.  What individuals were mistreated in the book? In what ways?

7.  How do you wish the story had ended?

Out of the Pumpkin Shell

1. What does it mean to be a loyal friend? How are characters in the story loyal/disloyal to their close friends?

2. Should Hat have done more to save her marriage?

3. Is the emotional abuse described in the book believable? 

How has the Church perpetuated violence within the home?

How does Ernest use the Church’s teachings to abuse Rose?

4. Why are some mother-daughter relationships close while others are characterized more by coolness, even hostility?

5. How can we let go of anger over not being adequately loved and protected? Perhaps the question is even more basic: Shouldwe let go of anger or resentment?

 6. How do we adjust to getting older?

How do we let go of parts that no longer fit? 

How/Where do we find creative ways to become? 

Where do we find models and support for changing?