Topics for Discussion
1. The book is set in rural Georgia. What does the novel reveal about the customs, mores, and culture of the South during the Depression era? What does it tell you about the economy and social customs then?
2. What are Queenie's positive and negative qualities? Which of these qualities make her a sympathetic character? Why does she allow her negative qualities to override her positive ones so often?
3. Cravey Mason is characterized as the antagonist. How does he influence Queenie? Why do you think he taunts her? Who else in this novel might be called an antagonist? Why?
4. Reconstruct the history of Queenie's relationship with her father. What role does Mr. Peavy play in his daughter's upbringing? Why did he go to prison? How do the father and daughter relate to each other?
5. How is Queenie's mother characterized? How would you describe her relationship with Queenie as compared to Mr. Peavy's?
6. Why does the author include the Corry children in the story? What do Queenie's interactions with Avis and Dover reveal about her character?
7. Queenie has run-ins with several adults in authority positions. How do these adults react to her? How does she respond to them? Do their opinions of her change over time?
8. At what point do you sense a change in Queenie? Explain the change. What do you predict for her future? Why?