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- Have you read any of the author’s previous works before? If so, did you enjoy the more supernatural elements blended into White’s story?
- The spray of the sea, the rich musky air of a roots cellar, the persistent kudzu vines. White conjures up a strong, vibrant sense of place for the reader for life on St. Simons Island. Did you feel like you were transported there (and even into the past) while reading the story? What other descriptions sang out to you?
- How do the multiple voices in the book come together to tell one story? Do you think the story would be as layered or successful without one of the voices, like Pamela’s?
- Do you think Ava does the right thing by attempting to dig up the truth behind Adrienne’s final days? Could you have lived with so many secrets or rooms closed off to you? Did you think Matthew was guilty of her murder?
- Do you think objects, like Pamela’s wedding ring, can carry powerful energies that connect us to the past? If so, how? Are there beloved items in your own collection that might have a similar kind of special energy? What are they?
- Why do you think John allows Adrienne’s family to think the worst of him after her death? Do you think he goes to farespecially as his actions become more secretive and troubling to Avain trying to protect her legacy?
- Describe the relationship between Pamela and Georgina. Do you think all relationships between sisters are as emotionally complexor perhaps complex in other ways? How so?
- Do you think it was ethical for John to hypnotize both his wives, even if the intentions were to be helpful or unlock their connections to their ancestors? What are the dangers of opening up these psychological doors that have remained closed for so long? What were the results for the two women?
- A lifelong collector of undeveloped photograph film (from yard sales and other places), what do you think is behind Ava’s attraction to those images, once printed, that feature sisters?
- Do you think it’s true that "being a mother is like being a gardener of souls"? How is that true for the women in the book? How might it be true in your own life if you yourself are a parent? Do you see this as your role, and how do you nurture your little "seedlings"?
- Were you shocked by the revelation of Ava’s biological parents? Do you think it was best for Gloria and Mimi to keep her in the dark for so long? What are Jimmy’s feelings?
- Do you believe in the possibility of reincarnation? Why or why not? Do you think Geoffrey and Pamela are finally together?