Reading Group Guide
1. While the main characters come from very different walks of life, they meet regularly and have a common interest (knitting). Have you ever been in a similar reading/discussion/hobby group? What did you get out of it?
2. Of the four main characters --- Lydia, Jacqueline, Carol and Alix --- is there one that particularly captured your imagination? Why?
3. Taking each main character in turn, decide on 3 --- 4 adjectives that most aptly describe that person (example: courageous, angry, wimpy, disappointed, etc.). How do they manifest these characteristics? How do you feel about these people?
4. Discuss the relationship between Jacqueline and Tammie Lee, her unconventional daughter-in-law. Is her changing opinion reflective of other things happening in Jacqueline's life, or does it cause things to happen?
5. When Tammie Lee tells Jacqueline the Uncle Bubba story (page 305), she ends with the advice that "the power is yours, and you can use it as you wish." What do you think of Jacqueline's solution? Could you have done it?
6. Jacqueline and Reese each made critical decisions 10 years ago (after Reese's affair) that radically affected their lives, together and separately. If you were in a similar situation with your spouse (if you are single, imagine yourself married), how would you handle it? What do you think of their decisions/actions?
7. By the end of the book, the main characters' lives are transformed by the power of love. Discuss how this happens in each instance. Can you share similar examples you have seen in the lives of people around you?
8. Might the stories have created a different impression if they'd been told from the men's points of view? How do you think the men in these pairings would have described their lives at the beginning of the story --- and at the end? (Jordon/Alix, Doug/Carol, Reese/Jacqueline, Brad/Lydia)
9. Alix starts the knitting class at A Good Yarn initially as a way to satisfy court-ordered community service hours, but she winds up being mentored by the other women to varying degrees, and particularly by Lydia. Have you ever mentored anyone in anything? What benefits does mentoring give the mentor as well as the person mentored?
10. The many benefits and pleasures of knitting are revealed in quotations that open a number of chapters. Did this help your understanding of the book? Is knitting a metaphor for anything? (A metaphor is a word or action that stands for something else, or adds additional meaning or nuance to it.) Do you knit and if so, what does it mean to you?
11. The author uses multiple voices to tell the stories. How did this narrative device affect your appreciation of the book? Did it affect the way you read the book?
12. The relationship between Lydia and her sister, Margaret, changes dramatically. Discuss their relationship. Why do you think Margaret behaves the way she does? Do you know anyone like her?
13. What did you think of the means by which Doug and Carol eventually adopt a baby? Were the circumstances believable to you?
14. Lydia's reasons for opening a yarn store were daring, considering her circumstances and recent illnesses. If you were in her position, financial and emotional, what might you do? Do you have a dream you haven't been able to act upon?
15. What is the most important thing you want to get out of reading a book? Did this book satisfy that need?