Reading Group Guide
1. At the beginning of this story, we learn that Aunt Rosa and Uncle Laz are marrying. Though she is in her golden years, this is Rosa’s first marriage. Do you know others who’ve married later in life? What can romance be richer during the golden years?
2. Bella’s extended family members come from far away (Italy), and she hasn’t seen them in years. Think about your extended family. Where do they come from (initially or recently)? What would it be like to have the whole clan together again? How might your perception of them have changed over time?
3. The females in this story have several preconceived ideas about Francesca, Emilio’s new, young, beautiful wife. Have you ever judged someone prematurely, only to be proven wrong in the end? Or has someone judged you, only to be proven wrong?
4. Gordy, the bandleader, found the Lord in prison and was given a new start in life. What do you know people “with a past” who have come to know the Lord? How have they challenged you in your faith?
5. Gordy and the others in the swing band are in their golden years but still are very active with their talents. Can you think of seniors in your own life who are still using their talents? How can you encourage them?
6. When Bella sees Sal for the first time, she realizes he is dramatically changed --- at least physically. Think about your own aging process. The Bible says that the outward man perishes but the inward man is being renewed daily. When you’re older, what do you want people to see in you?
7. Sal is prejudiced against Rosa and tries to put an end to her and Laz’s wedding. Have you ever experienced unfair prejudice in your own life or witnessed it in the life of another? How did you respond?
8. The members of the swing band are firm believers in praising your way through life’s trials. Do you ever feel like you’re Jehoshaphat, on the front lines of battle? How do you respond in those situations?
9. When Rosa and Laz marry, they have a huge Italian wedding feast. Think of your own family. If you could go all out for a major family event, what sorts of foods would you serve and why? How can gathering around the table at a feast or celebration strengthen family ties?
10. Bella’s sister Sophia almost misses what was right in front of her --- Tony. Have you ever almost missed something that should have been obvious? What was the result?
11. When Bella takes on too much for others, she finds herself so physically stressed that she lands in the hospital. Have you ever gone overboard trying to meet the demands of others that you stressed yourself out, emotionally or physically? What did you do to recuperate?
12. When it comes to her own wedding, Bella has to hand over the reins to D.J. and her family and friends. Letting go can be tough. How do you deal with handing over the reins when you’re overwhelmed?
13. In the end, Sal is drawn to the Rossis and decides to stay put in Galveston. What is it that draws him to the Rossi clan?
14. D.J. takes Bella on the honeymoon of a lifetime --- to Italy. If you could travel anywhere you like, where would you go? Back to your family’s roots? Someplace else? Why?
15. With all of the swing-dance references in this story, one could conclude that life itself is a dance. One step leads to another. How is the choreography going in your life’s dance? What changes might you need to make?