How did you experience the book? Were you engaged immediately, or did it take you a while to “get into it”? What emotions did Nell’s story evoke in you? How was your mood impacted while reading the book?
The reader meets Nell when she’s a young girl living in the segregated south and follows her as she becomes a wife, mother, and part of the great migration to the north. Can you describe the overarching themes in Nell’s story?
There are several key characters in the book—Nell, Momma, Daddy, Miss Parker, Henry, Charles, and Phyllis. Which characters did you like best, least, and why? Which characters did you relate to, or empathize with?
What did you think about some of the minor characters—for instance, Nell’s older brother and sister-in-law, the shop keeper in the local store, the women at the beauty salon, the librarian in Boston, Charle’s mother—others? How did they advance the story?
How did the characters change throughout the story? How did your opinion of them change?
Did you agree with the characters’ decisions? Are there any characters you’d like to deliver a lecture to? If so, who? What would you say?
What passages strike you as insightful, even profound? Perhaps a bit of dialog that’s funny or poignant or that encapsulates a character? Maybe there’s a particular comment that states the book’s thematic concerns.
How did the setting impact the story? Was the setting well-developed to the point that you could actually see, feel, and smell the places where the story unfolds?
Nell has two love interests—Henry and Charles. What did you think of both in terms of the romance pacing? Was each connection believable? If so, at what point did they click for you? Did you like the “heat” level of the book? Did this book melt your heart, make you believe in the power of true love? Or did you feel angry and worried for Nell?
Is the ending satisfying? If so, why? If not, why not…and how would you change it? Did you guess the ending? If so, at what point? What do you wish had been different? What do you think happens to the characters after the book’s official ending?
Are there lingering questions from the book you’re still thinking about? Did the book change your opinion or perspective about anything? Do you feel different now than you did before you read it?
What did you think of the writing? Did the style appeal to you? What were the strong aspects? A key skill of good fiction writing is “show don’t tell”. Can you point to examples where the author succeeded in “showing”. Do you have any advice for the author as it relates to the writing?
If the book were adapted into a movie, which actors would you want to see play which characters?
If you could ask the author anything, what would it be?
Would you recommend Child Bride to others?