Sister Blackberry Discussion

Sister Blackberry 10 Discussion Suggestions  for Book Clubs or Reader’s Groups:

  1. How much different would Viola’s life have been if she had made a different choice that night in 1936?
  2. How much different do you think Nadine’s life would have been and the lives of her two daughters?
  3. What is it about Viola’s personality that makes her both loved and revered by her family and the people of Rayes County?
  4. Why would someone as sweet as Janie not feel sorry for someone like Langley?
  5. What kind of life do you think Janie’s child would have had if she and Bick would have raised it?
  6. Is the relationship between Nadine and Doris typical of sisters who are close in age? And what about Maggie and Denie’s relationship?
  7. If Doris would have stayed in Rayes County what would have happened?
  8. What was the most compelling reason that Doris decided to leave and did she overreact?
  9. Was it divine intervention that brought Doris to Deely’s door step the moment she arrived in Cleveland? What if she’d met someone not quite so friendly at first? Do you think she would have returned home sooner?
  10. Should Viola have just taken her secret with her and not told Maggie and Denie? And, did she tell for the benefit of her granddaughters, her daughter or herself?

Do you have a question to suggest to reader’s groups and book clubs? Send it to

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A Note to Readers

Just a Short Hiatus ... More Novels to Come

While Growing Up Wilder was my last novel, it will certainly not be my final. I have two outlines just dying to escape from my desk drawer and I often have to apologetically shove them back in when I find they have made it to the surface time and again.

I am currently working toward completing my doctorate degree (I am all but dissertation, folks!) and I am tangled up in research that uses storytelling and social media as a way to increase hope levels for individuals and entire communities.

This research is allowing me to focus on solving a problem within Kentucky's Appalachia - negative stereotypes.

Readers, please be patient. I will return to fiction shortly. Until then, please continue to share Sister Blackberry, House of Cleaving and Growing Up Wilder with your friends and family.

As always, I welcome your notes and messages.