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Book Club Questions – What Matters in Mayhew

July 24, 2018

According to the author, this novel was meant to be somewhat of a farce, but ended up hitting a little too close to home for some of the locals in the small town where she lives. How closely do you think it comes to accurately representing small-town Southern life, and why?

Do you feel that the round table at the Mayhew café functioned as a Greek chorus type character, as the author intended. Explain why. 

Beanie Bradsher may come off as a little odd, But in certain parts of the country, she is completely normal. What are the quirks that make you wonder why she is the way she is? Are there any hints to obstacles in her life that make her reluctant to drive a car, Or hold down a full-time job? She sells Avon. Why is she able to do this, when other tasks that involve reading might be complicated?

Bubba John Atwater is determined to pull off an elaborate surprise for his wife. What would possess a man to think he could surprise his wife with a house? 

Why was Sweet Lee willing to risk her own life to save her pregnancy?

What was the significance of the pine table Sweet valued above a diamond ring?

In the relationship between Vesuvius Jones and Beanie Bradsher, why did Suvi seem more concerned about what townspeople would think than Beanie did? Do you think his fears or concerns are warranted?

What do you think about LouWanda? Is she a raging bigot, or does she mean well and just doesn’t know any better? Does that matter?

What do you think of the love triangle between Will Thaxton, Beanie and Suvi? This is the first in a series, so there is more to come. Who do you hope she ends up with? And why? 

Do you know any people like the characters in this novel? Are they caricatures of people, are they stereotyped, or do they feel like a real human beings with quirks and flaws?

The novel is set in a small Southern town which is geographically remote from more cultural towns. Is the behavior of the locals specific to the south, or small towns in general, or both?

The novel features a large cast of characters. Was it difficult to keep them straight? Did the authors  choice of unusual names help or hinder your recognition?

Had you ever heard of a trunk or treat before? Do you have anything like that in your town?

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