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I read the large print and listened to some audio. The story is great, but the reader, in spite of her sweet southern voice, was not good for an audio book. In this novel there are many conversations between a male and a female and the reader did not vary the pitch of her voice so you couldn't tell who was speaking.
On a scale of 1 - 5 (5 being a lot of examples/instances):
Sex - it happens, but it is super-PG. If a child read this book they wouldn't even know it happened.
Religion - a non-church-going character went to church one time with her friends who had repeatedly asked her.
Gruesome - nothing to report
Suspense - there were a couple of brief times when I wondered if things would work out okay, but nothing that pushed me to read extra pages beyond the time I should've put the book down
Morality - the people in this book are SO nice, and some of them do go to church but it's not something they really talk about, however, I had to mark it down on morality because a lady in the '50s or '60s got tired of her husband's cheating ways and left him but took up with another man before she'd even filed for divorce. (And by took up with that's a super-PG reference to had sex.)
Traditional - I don't think it was ever said outright but there was a gay character. Also, a couple keeps up a charade of marriage without having a traditional relationship.
(Ch. 8 pg. 87) Was the relationship between Mags and William possible? rational? too fast?
Which story did you like better, Mags or Sara?
Sara didn't make going home a priority, do you? Will you now?
William told Mags she'd fall in love with him. (Ch. 7, pg. 80) Crawford told Sara, "Once this house is fixed up, you'll be sad to let it go." (Ch. 16, pg. 175) Sara told Major, "It'll be your favorite chair when I'm done with it." (Ch. 17, pg. 185) In what ways do these statements shape the theme of the book (knowing yourself, knowing those you love)?
How do you think the headstone was ready and in place in only one week? (Ch. 10)
Were you surprised at how the land issue was resolved? (Ch. 44, pg. 435)
Mags was thankful for both the love that was forced upon her and the love she lost, recognizing that they each brought her to a certain point in her life. (Ch. 46, pg. 450) What surprising relationships are you thankful for?
Serve chocolate pie like the first time Crawford was at the Hideaway. (Ch. 16, pg. 169-170)
Serve sausage biscuits like Crawford brought from the diner when the Hideaway was garnering support. (pg. 378)
Maggie's vanity held: a lamp, Pond's cold cream, a tube of Jergens lotion, a couple prescription bottles, a hair-brush, hairpins, small bottles, a box of needles and spools of thread. (pg. 406) Gather a collection of similar items and play the memory game where guests have one minute to study it before the items are covered up and they have to write down as many items as they can remember.