Reading Group Guide
1. How does Andie’s physical description of the Blue Moon Drive-in reflect the spiritual lives of Marty and Andie as the story begins?
2. Marty says the drive-in is ‘family friendly’? Do you find this ironic, and why or why not? What are the comparisons between the future of drive-in theaters and the traditional family unit?
3. Marty seems eager to ‘replace’ Ginger but Andie isn’t eager to ‘replace’ her parents with Marty. What is the difference? In what ways does Marty make Andie feel that she wants her to replace Ginger?
4. Why was it so important to Marty to open a bakery? What does it represent to her, and how does it compare to her father’s desire to be an artist? What do Coconut Dandies represent to Winnie, and how does Marty’s baking contribute to her need for constant grazing?
5. How would you rate Marty’s parenting skills with respect to Deja? Compare it to the relationship between her father and her brother. How do you think Deja will ultimately turn out, and what will she be doing after high school (assuming she graduates)?
6. Marty has a mini-breakdown and ends up many miles from home. Contrast the reasons she left with the reasons she went back. What was the outcome? Did anything change for Marty?
7. At one point, Andie says her ‘heart-shape is plugged.’ What specific instances help to loosen the debris inside of Andie in regard to both the family and to God? In what ways is Marty’s heart-shape plugged?
8. After several years, Marty is still mourning her broken marriage. At what point does she begin to feel the need for closure?
9. When Marty ‘dropped’ the cake at Julian’s feet at the farmer’s market, would you say it was more accident or more subconsciously intentional? Who or what did he represent to her at that moment?
10. In what ways does Andie gradually accept that she is really part of the family? On what points does she feel a kinship with Ginger?
11. When Marty finds Ginger’s hospital bracelet, she reflects that we are all switched at birth and that God wants to reclaim us. What do you think she means? What would have eventually happened to Andie if Marty hadn’t ‘claimed’ her?