Reading Guide for Sweet Tea Tuesdays

Caution: Spoiler Alerts

Sweet Tea Tuesdays is the story of three best friends whose lives are ordinary but whose personalities are not. With enough drama to hold readers spellbound until the very last page, Sweet Tea Tuesdays explores the themes of friendship, parenting, trust, infidelity, and death. And that’s only the beginning. A perfect choice for book clubs!

True friends stab you in the front by Oscar Wilde.

I thought a lot about this quote from Oscar Wilde while I was writing Sweet Tea Tuesdays. I struggled with Midge’s motivations while writing this novel. I had a difficult time understanding why she’s so afraid to divulge her secret to Georgia when doing so is clearly in Georgia’s best interest. It wasn’t until my final draft when I realized, with a little help from Oscar Wilde, that Midge isn’t afraid Georgia will be mad at her. She’s afraid of seeing her friend hurt. Only a true friend, when motivated by real concern and love, can stab you in the heart while looking you in the face. It takes guts to tell a friend something they don’t want to hear. Not only will that friend be hurt, they are also likely to be angry. And that anger may be directed at you, simply because you’re the messenger. But once your friend calms down, she or he will realize that you have acted in their best interest and be grateful to you for caring about them.

Name an instance when you’ve had to stab a friend in the front.

Questions . . .

  1. Midge falls in love with Bennett at first. But then she lets other people’s negative opinions of him persuade her feelings. Do you think she had reason to doubt him, both his integrity and his commitment to her?
  2. Midge’s brother advises her to listen closely to her heart and her gut. Which do you listen to more? Name an instance when you should have listened to your gut but trusted your heart instead and vice versa.
  3. Midge encounters Georgia’s husband in a passionate embrace with another woman in an elevator at a local hotel. As much as she wants to confide in Georgia about what she saw, she’s terrified of seeing her friend hurt. Would you have a difficult time telling a friend the truth?
  4. Georgia discovers her husband is having an affair with another woman. He has, in fact, had multiple affairs with other women. After thirty-two years of marriage, she feels obligated to give him another chance. Would you feel the same way in her shoes?
  5. Lula’s was a difficult character to write. She’s a nonconformist if ever there was one. She’s stubborn and opinionated and staunch in her traditional values. Was she someone you could relate to? Someone you would want to call a friend?
  6. Lula is fifty-five going on sixty-five and darn proud of it. Does modern technology boggle your mind? Are you tired of staying fit and looking your best? Are you content tending your garden and taking care of your family? Or do you strive to have a life outside of your home?
  7. Discovering that her oldest child is gay comes as something of a shock to Lula. Raising children is the most important job we’ll ever have. Letting our children chart their own paths is one of the most difficult parts of that job. Talk about a time when you’ve had to face a difficult reality about one of your children.
  8. What legacy will you leave your children. Will you leave them a lot of money or family heirloom antiques? When she faces her own mortality, Lula Horne realizes she has nothing to leave behind for her children to remember her by. Her children show her that the best gift she can give them is the gift of herself. Have you taken the time to share with your children the special talents that make you unique, the things they will never learn from anyone but you?
  9. Lula shows favoritism to her oldest child, but do you think she actually loves Brooke more than Lizbet? Have you ever shown favoritism to your children? Talk about in what ways you feel differently about your children.

 

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