THE BABBLING BROOK NAKED POKER CLUB – BOOK ONE
1. What details about Brookside Retirement Community amused you?
2. At what point in the story did you begin to feel sympathetic toward Josephine?
3. What did you think of the changing points of view? Did that work for you?
4. Did you enjoy the naked poker revelations? Did they surprise you?
5. Do you have any advice for Josephine on how to (or whether to) repair her relationship with her son?
6. What did you think of the plan to confront Eddie about his pilfering?
7. What did you think of Josephine’s and Lillian’s approach to finding out the thief’s identity?
8. Do you think Edna can be redeemed?
9. Were you surprised at Devi’s backstory and her reasons for finding it uncomfortable to be around Mac?
10. Were the relationships between Devi and Josephine and Devi and Mac believable and satisfying?
DREAMS FOR STONES
1. Dreams for Stones opens with Alan Francini visiting a mountain lake. What does the lake symbolize for Alan and why do you think Ann chose that as the opening scene? Was it a good choice?
2. As the story begins, Kathy is engaged. How does that engagement and its ending affect how she reacts to Alan?
3. When Alan and Kathy meet, both have already decided something about love. What is Kathy’s decision? Alan’s? At what point do they each discover these decisions run counter to their future happiness?
4. How do Alan’s difficulties at the University affect what happens in the story?
5. The novel celebrates the resilience of the human heart. How does Ann use this theme to tell her story? Is a need for such resilience something you have experienced in your life?
6. Dreams for Stones is also about friendship. How does Emily affect Kathy’s life? How does Delia’s illness affect both Kathy and Alan? How does Charles’s decision to end his relationship with Kathy affect his friendship with Alan? Have you had any similar experiences with friendship?
7. Is Elaine’s interference in her brother’s life justified? If she hadn’t interfered what do you think would have happened?
8. How does Alan cope with his grief at the beginning of the book? Once you learn what happened to his wife, do you believe he will be able to recover? What part do Angela Taylor, Charles, and Kathy play in helping Alan to heal? Do you know someone who has responded to grief the way Alan has? How did they heal?
9. Stones are an important motif in the novel. Where are they used and what is their significance? Can you identify other recurring motifs?
10. Although the characters experience loss, at the end of the book is there a feeling of hope and resolution? Do you believe Alan and Kathy are ready to make a life together?
11. Which story, scene, or motif (e.g. Emily’s diaries, Bobby and Brad, friendship, grief, endings, beginnings) resonated with you the most? Do you know why?
VOCABULARY OF LIGHT
1. Did the beginning of the story “hook” you and make you want to find out what happened to Maggie in Puerto Rico?
2. Have you ever been forced to make a move to a different city/state/country because of a partner’s job?
3. If that called for you to make changes in your own career, how did that make you feel?
4. What do you think about Maggie’s initial responses to the move? Was she resilient or resentful?
5. At what point do you think Maggie began to accept her circumstances and make them work for her?
6. Did the descriptions of life in Puerto Rico make you glad you weren’t the one having to move there or wish that you were? What in particular did you find most intriguing? Least appealing?
7. Could Maggie have done more to help Judy? Is there something different you think she could have done?
8. What did you think about the situation with Fr. Ramirez? Did Maggie handle that in an appropriate way? Would you have done it differently? What if her actions had back-fired and the priest had become more belligerent?
9. What about Maria Teresa? Was there something more you think Maggie could have done to help Maria Teresa? Would you have done anything differently?
10. Have you ever had a friend/relative you knew was being abused by a partner? How did you handle the situation?
11. Do you think the advice Maggie received from Casa Rosa’s director was good advice? Why or why not?
12. What did you find most surprising about this story?
13. Was the ending satisfying?