Somewhere Between Luck and Trust – Reading Guide

  1. Cristy Haviland swears she’s innocent of the felony shoplifting charge for which she was imprisoned.  At what point did you begin to believe she was telling the truth?  Do you believe that people can be unfairly incarcerated?
  2. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the average prison sentence of men who kill their women partners is 2 to 6 years. Women who kill their partners are, on average, sentenced to 15 years.  Could you sympathize with Cristy’s friend Dara Lee who was imprisoned for killing her chronically abusive boyfriend?  If this statistic is true, does it seem fair to you?
  3. Georgia Ferguson doesn’t want to be known as the Sweatshirt Baby, even if the title brings a certain sad “fame” with it.  With no realistic way to find the woman who abandoned her, she’s left her past behind, but Georgia’s past emerges in the form of a mysterious charm bracelet that might lead her to answers.  Imagine yourself in Georgia’s position.  Would you be tempted to walk through this newly-opened door?  Or would you leave it firmly shut?
  4. Cristy, like many people in real life, was able to hide her inability to read by pretending she didn’t care about school, and by developing ways to cope. Approximately 50% of U.S. adults read so poorly they are unable to perform basic tasks like reading prescription drug labels.  In your imagination can you relive your day and think of all the moments when you read or needed to read?  Does the extent of the problem shock you?
  5. Cristy’s parents were ashamed of their daughter’s poor performance in school, yet they refused to seek special tutoring to help her, believing she simply wasn’t trying hard enough.  Many school systems still aren’t equipped to deal with learning disabilities.  How can parents help their children overcome challenges like dyslexia?
  6. For a variety of reasons Dawson’s father was unable to accept his son and tried repeatedly to force him to adhere to his standards and become a “real man.”  Without judging either Dawson or his father, can you talk about what the phrase a “real man” means to you?
  7. Jackson Ford has everything, yet he always wants more, no matter who he hurts in the process.  Do people like Jackson exist?  Are they born or made?  Did you think that Jackson’s father taught him to take anything he wanted, no matter the consequences?
  8. Georgia has been rejected and abandoned for much of her life and still managed to find a satisfying place for herself in the world with her daughter, granddaughter and friends.  Now a man has come into her life bringing love and acceptance with him.  Did you believe that Georgia, after everything, would be able to reach out to Lucas, too?
  9. Twenty-two year old Cristy didn’t plan to be a mother so young, particularly not to Jackson Ford’s son, yet she is faced with giving birth to his baby.  Could you empathize with Cristy’s struggle to cope?  Could you believe her feelings toward Michael might change as she spent time with him?
  10. Were you able to understand and support Cristy’s final decision about Michael’s future?  Or was it so different from what you believed she “should” do that you couldn’t forgive her?
  11. The goddesses allowed Cristy to find her own way, while offering any support and help she needed as she struggled.  Did you wish they had stepped in more directly?  Or was their kindness and acceptance exactly what she needed?