Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Driving Sideways News

Great news! I just received an e-mail from Jess Riley, author of DRIVING SIDEWAYS, saying that she put together a reader's guide for her book. I absolutely loved this book (see my review here), and I thought it would make a terrific book club pick. I mentioned in my review that I would love to have a set of discussion questions! A huge thanks goes out to Ms. Riley for sending me these:

1) Cellular memory: real or not? What other ‘real-life’ instances or reports of cellular memory have you heard of? Do you believe it’s real?

2) How does faith come into play in the story? (Not just faith in the religious sense of the word.)

3) Leigh’s kidney transplant served as a catalyst for her to take risks and rethink her future; have you had any similar experiences that motivated you to change things in your own life?

4) Leigh can sometimes be a fan of crude humor. Why do you think that is?

5) One of Leigh’s goals is to convince her best friend Jillian to end her engagement with “Geoffrey with a G,” a man who is all wrong for her. Or so Leigh thinks. How far would you go (or have you gone) to convince a friend to end a bad relationship?

6) The great American road trip: a soon-to-be lost summer ritual? How does the act of driving for hours on end every day affect Leigh’s attitude?

7) Would you have picked up Denise?

8) Another theme in the story is that things are not always as they seem; that the things we want sometimes aren’t the things we need. Leigh initially wants to find her long-lost mother…but once she nearly does, she realizes she’s had all the family she needs all along. Do you think Leigh is once again talking herself into believing something she’s not quite sure of? Is she truly finished trying to find her mother?

9) Leigh uses humor as a coping mechanism to deflect her fears about her own mortality; does this approach help her find peace with her situation, or does it hinder her in that respect?

10) How does Leigh’s newly asserted independence affect her relationship with her brother James?

11) Some readers feel the ending was very ambiguous—what do you see for Leigh in one year, five years, or ten years?

Ms. Riley also mentioned in her e-mail that she's available for author chats when clubs meet to discuss her book, and she will send signed adhesive bookplates to anyone in the club. You should really take her up on this offer -- I have a feeling that it would make for a memorable book club meeting. You can contact her through her website.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting these discussion questions. (And thanks again for holding the contest for this book!)