FRESH START SUMMER
Reading Group Discussion Questions
- What was your favorite part of Fresh Start Summer?
- The town of Cherryvale endured an economic depression and then found ways to make the town attractive to new businesses and to retain existing ones. How does this compare to your own town?
- Because of the makeover, Cherryvale changed from a sleepy little town to a busy tourist and movie shooting location. Have you ever lived somewhere that went through similar events?
- Are you more like Maggie, or more like Grace?
- Some say recessions can have silver linings. If you agree, what could be the benefits?
- The CherryPath winds not only through the characters’ town but through their lives as well. Do you think you’d like to live in a neighborhood like this? Why or why not?
- Grace and Maggie have old issues to address before they can re-start their friendship on a healthier track. Have you ever had to face old hurts with a friend or family member? Did your attempt end with positive results? Do you have a favorite scripture that reminds you of God’s forgiveness?
- Grace digs out an old costume and dusts off her tap shoes to perform in the fundraiser. Is there something you’ve wanted to try again, or even pick up for the first time? Has Grace inspired you to go for it?
- Tiffany arrives in town with a diva’s chip on her shoulder. Were you attracted to her or did you resent her attitude? Does a celebrity just seem to be more important or influential, or is it what the media creates?
- Most of us have seen Gone with the Wind, the movie. Have you ever read the book? What about its sequel, Scarlett? If you read Scarlett, would you recommend it?
- Both Grace and Maggie both face obstacles to their plans. Grace’s quiet retirement is anything but, and Maggie’s disappointed the sleepy community of her childhood has changed. Do you think they were being selfish in their expectations? Have you ever faced a situation like that? How were you able to decide what was the right way to proceed?
- Grace and Maggie’s personalities are quite different, yet they—eventually—learn how to enjoy each other’s company. Do you think being alike hurts or helps friendships? What’s essential for a healthy friendship? Is there anything that would cause you to end a friendship forever?
Grace’s Favorite Muffin Recipes
Makes 24 small muffins.
1 cup vegetable oil or ½ cup oil and ½ cup applesauce
1 cup soft brown sugar
3 cups grated zucchini
2 tspn vanilla
1-1/2 cups whole grain flour
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tspn salt
1 tspn baking soda
1 tspn baking powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Instructions: Beat eggs until light and foamy; add vegetable oil (or oil and applesauce), sugar, zucchini and vanilla. Blend thoroughly. Mix together the remaining dry ingredients, except nuts. Add the dry ingredients to the first mixture, stir just enough to blend everything together. Stir in nuts. Spoon the batter into lightly oiled or lined muffin tins, filling 3/4 of the cup. Bake at 325° for about 20 minutes. To check if they are done, insert a clean toothpick, skewer or wooden matchstick into the center of a muffin.