Reading Group Guide
1. If you had to describe Marguerite Westing in three words, what would they be? How are you like Marguerite? Different? How does the title Making Waves fit her?
2. Marguerite goes for what she wants in so many ways and lets nothing stop her in the process. Why, then, does she continue to allow Roger Gordon to court her? When have you allowed a relationship to continue that you knew wasn’t going anywhere or was not good for you? Why do you think it’s so hard to break off those kinds of relationships?
3. The desire for parental approval is a theme in this book for Marguerite, Trip, and even Roger. Which character do you feel is driven by it the most? How does the approval of their parents affect their decisions? How has the approval of your parents impacted your life? Do you know any adults who still long for that kind of validation?
4. Even though times were changing, so many things were still closed to women in 1895. Is Marguerite’s subterfuge in learning to sail justified? Why or why not? How do we sometimes justify “little white lies”? Is lying ever okay?
5. Marguerite and her personal maid Lilly have a special friendship. What challenges do you think this causes the two of them? Have you ever had a friendship that your parents did not condone, or have your children had any you did not approve of? How did you handle it? What class barriers still exist today that would influence these kinds of relationships?
6. Compare and contrast Marguerite’s father and Trip’s father. Whose would you rather have? According to many researchers, our picture of our heavenly Father is often shaped by our relationship with our earthly father. In view of that, in what areas do Marguerite and Trip struggle regarding their picture of God? How has the image of your earthly father impacted the image of your heavenly Father?
7. Marguerite says she can’t live a vanilla life when she’s a strawberry girl. What would have happened to her if she’d settled for the vanilla life Roger offered? In what ways do we settle for less than the “strawberry world” God has planned for us?
8. Truth is a major theme in Making Waves. What damage have lies caused in the lives of Marguerite and Trip? What damage do Marguerite’s own lies cause? The first verse mentioned in the book is 1 John 3:18: “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth” (KJV). How does truth show a person’s love? Can you think of an example of this from your own life?
9. Marguerite’s biggest lie is the one she tells herself. How are we tempted to do the same? Are those lies as damaging as lies we tell others? Why or why not?
10. The word truth appears in Scripture 228 times in the New International Version, and God describes Himself as the true God. John 4:24 states, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth” (NIV). Clearly He values truth. How do spirit and truth go hand in hand? Why is more emphasis placed on worshiping in spirit than on worshiping in truth? Which comes easier to you?