Discussion Questions for FRIENDSHIP BREAD

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR FRIENDSHIP BREAD BY DARIEN GEE

  1. Amish Friendship Bread is the sweet thread that weaves itself throughout the whole story.  What are your experiences with the bag of starter, 10-day fermenting process and the recipes you used to bake the bread?
  2. Julia is clearly suffering from depression.  What is the cause of her depression and whom does she blame?  In what ways does her husband enable her to continue with her destructive emotional pattern?  How does this leave him vulnerable?
  3. Hannah is a concert cellist who is no longer able to perform due to a back injury and is now living in Avalon.  How did she end up moving to Avalon and why does she feel so alone and unhappy?  How does she discover a purpose for living in her new life in Avalon?
  4. Livvy carries deep pain and guilt that leaks into all aspects of her life. What happened in her past that causes her so much grief?  How does that tragedy affect her relationships, self-esteem and everyday decisions?
  5. Throughout the book, we meet many unique and colorful residents of Avalon. What is the common theme of these characters and of those people who was your favorite and why?
  6. Edie, a very ambitious reporter/writer who follows her boyfriend, Dr. Richard, to the small town of Avalon, is looking for her big break with a story that will get her noticed.  What happens that could change her ambitious career plans?
  7. Madeline, who owns the teashop and seems like a fairy godmother, reveals that she also has regrets in her life.  What are her regrets?  How is she trying to redeem herself and make things right?  Does this confession change your perception of Madeline?  Explain.
  8. Hannah, Julia and Mark all end up in Chicago at the same time.  How is this trip a defining moment for each of them?
  9. Edie writes an article for the local newspaper about the origin of Amish Friendship Bread in Avalon.  Who does she single out as the one who started passing around the batter?  How does this affect that person and what kind of chain reaction does the article trigger?  Does Edie ever see the real story behind the Amish Friendship Bread?
  10. After many days of torrential rains, the local river threatens to flood its banks and although Avalon is spared, the neighboring town of Barrett is not so lucky with many families displaced.  Who has the idea to help the needy families of Barrett and what was that idea? How does this gesture snowball and serve to unite the residents of Avalon as well?
  11. Many relationships were forged, reinforced and restored throughout the story. How did friendship bread play a part in the mending of those relationships?
  12. How do the prologue and the epilogue of Friendship Bread bring the story full circle?