EMAKO BLUE - BRENDA WOODS
BOOK RATING : 3/5
Book Info --->https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8
About the Author --->https://www.goodreads.com/author/sh
THE GIRL WHO CHASED THE MOON – SARAH ADDISON ALLEN
BOOK RATING : 5/5!
The Legend of the Mullaby lights is front and center in this story. How do legends come to exist? What do they say about a culture or community? Can you imagine something like this happening in your own? Have you ever had a haunting or whimsical experience that led you to a valuable discovery?
Legends are normally based in truth. In some legends many things are exaggerated but legends are how cultures are created. They shape us and define us; our beliefs and our personalities. Glowing skin has never been an issue in my town or any town that I know of but I do remember being intrigued by UFO’s as a kid. I would always be out looking for them and pointing out odd light patterns in the sky.
In Mullaby, barbecue is a celebratory food, meant to be shared. It brings people together. On the other hand, for Julia, cake-baking is a solitary activity, a ceremony she performs alone to feel connected to someone she has lost. Why do you think food is so central to this story? What kind of meaning can cooking, baking, and food take on? What do they mean to you? What kind of food is your city/state known for?
It seems like food is the way that most of the characters can communicate. When you have food with you during tough conversations, it usually dulls the ache and son on and so forth. Food just means happiness to me. I love food! I don’t really know what kind of food my city or state is known for but I do know that we harvest a lot of oranges!
Julia finds that baking cakes is the only way she can comfortably express what is truly going on in her heart. What hobby or talent allows you to reveal yourself more clearly to others? Is there something specific about you or something you are good at that you feel draws others to you?
This is an easy question for me to answer! I can communicate well with my music. If I’m happy or sad or angry I sing and write a song about my feelings and I love that when I sing around others, it’s like they can see who I am better that way, better than when I’m just speaking.
From the moment they meet, Win and Emily seem unavoidably drawn to each other. What do you think is the cause of this connection, and why does this bond between them grow so quickly? Do you think that this kind of romance would be possible if they were older?
I think that they were just meant to be. I don’t think it has anything to do with their family history. When you see a person and have a connection instantaneously it doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, it’s kismet!
Julia takes an immediate liking to Emily, assuming a motherly role. What do you think draws Julia to Emily? Could it be that Julia needed Emily just as much as Emily needed Julia? Have you ever taken a nurturing stance in someone else’s life only to find that they were truly rehabilitating you? Furthermore, do you think the relationship between Emily and Julia helped to open Julia to Sawyer, if so how?
Well Julia had to give up her daughter when she was born so Emily coming into town forced her to remember that and sort of make up for not being able to do the same for her daughter. I have never been in that situation. I’m usually the one being nurtured since I still have a lot of things to do in life. I do believe that Emily was a reason Julia finally opened up to Sawyer. She could see how he truly felt and Julia believed her.
Despite the fact that Sawyer mistreated Julia in a painful way, she ultimately forgives him. Do you think that Sawyer deserved Julia’s forgiveness? Do you think that you would forgive someone who had abandoned you in the same way? Do you think that there are limits on what a person can forgive?
I do think that Julia did a good thing by forgiving him because he truly had changed. In that situation I would forgive the other person. There are limits to what someone can forgive but mostly, forgiveness is what should be a part of who we are and how we want to live our lives; let go, and move on.
In the story, we see different characters mourning the loss of loved ones. (Emily her mother, Vance his wife and daughter, and Julia her daughter and father). What are the different ways these characters cope with their losses? What do you think their coping mechanisms say about who they are?
With Emily she tries to do and be as her mother would. It gives her satisfaction to be good-hearted. Vance always checks the dryer for his wife’s gift of the day just to feel like she’s there with him and Julia mourns with cake. When she bakes she lets out all of her feelings.
Julia only moves back to Mullaby under the self-enforced condition that she will leave in two years. Why do you think she returned to Mullaby to save her father’s restaurant when their relationship had been so tenuous? Other than Sawyer, what persuades her to stay in her hometown?
I believe that deep down she knew her father loved her. Even if it took Beverly’s speech for her to realize it fully. She came back because she felt closer to her father through the restaurant and she chose to stay because of that connection.
Emily has one view of her mother while the town has a very different view. And Grandpa Vance has yet another understanding. Who is / was the real Dulcie? Do you believe a person can truly change? How might Emily’s life have been different if she had known the truth of her mother’s past before coming to Mullaby?
I believe the real Dulcie was the one she became. She hid so much of the good in her because her mother died and she didn’t know how to act normal. When she finally learned her lesson, she became who she was meant to be; selfless. I feel that Emily’s mother should have told her about her past so Emily would have been prepared for the criticism. The first half of the story the poor girl had no idea why people treated her so coldly.
Many people in Mullaby could be considered misfits. From the most prominent family in town to Julia and Vance, there are many characters who have the experience of not fitting in. How does this affect their lives? How do some manage to use this to their advantage while others seem to suffer for it? What does this say about the power of belonging? Why do many people, particularly young people, feel the need to belong while others are determined to stand out? Which kind of person are you?
Some of the characters like Vance and Julia were considered weird for their oddities but the Coffey family not coming out at night gave off a mystery about them that people craved. Most people feel like they need to belong because they don’t want to feel left out, especially as a teenager when most emotions are heightened. I guess I’ve always sort of done my own thing. I’ve wanted to belong but I always chose which path I wanted for myself to take regardless of how more popular people thought of that decision. I was always happy with the few friends I had that felt the same.
Emily’s grandfather is a loveable giant. She is completely taken aback when she first sees him. Have you ever met someone who did not meet your expectations at all? In what way(s)? In much the same way , Julia and Stella’s friendship seems like an unlikely pairing. What do you think they gain from their differences? What do you gain from the opposites in your life?
I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody like that before so I can’t answer the first part. The second part however, I think they gain a lot from each other because they share different ways to look at things. I think that’s important in a friendship.
At the end of the story, when Vance reveals the truth behind Dulcie’s motivations for the midnight show in the park, Emily is at first incredulous that he has kept this secret for so long. Why do you think he took so long to reveal this? Do you think it was right of him to allow the town to think of her negatively? What would you have done if Dulcie were your daughter?
First of all, if Dulcie were my daughter I would never have given her everything and I would have set boundaries. I think his guilt about how he raised her is why he held onto the secret and I believe that him keeping the secret was right because Dulcie was finally trying to do the right thing.
At the beginning of the novel, Emily discovers the grandfather she didn’t know she had, and at the very end, Maddie embarks on a relationship with Julia. What does this story tell us about our blood connections? Do you think that being related to someone binds you to them whether you know them personally or not? What do you think Julia and Maddie’s relationship will look like five or ten years down the road?
I believe that blood connections do have a power all to their own. It’s hard to explain you just seem to know who they are or how they feel without them having to tell you. I feel that way around my family too. My sister especially. We have a bond. When she’s upset, I am. It just happens I guess. I think that Julia and Maddie will have a wonderful mother and daughter relationship and maybe Julia will teach Maddie her trade secrets and Maddie will take over the business in her generation