The Summer of New Beginnings Book Club Gear

Have a book club you would like Bette Lee Crosby to attend via Skype?
Please CLICK HERE to contact Bette Lee Crosby.

Book Discussion Questions

SPOILERS AHEAD

Many of my readers say they experience a variety of emotions while reading my books. How did you feel while reading The Summer of New Beginnings?

Many of my readers say the characters in my books seem so real and life-like. Was that true in The Summer of New Beginnings? Which character did you identify with the most? How did the past shape the characters and influence their future?

Which character changed the most from the beginning of the book to the end?

Do you have a sibling and if so how do you think your relationship compares to the one between Tracy and Meghan?

What do you think is the theme of The Summer of New Beginnings?

Share your favorite passages from The Summer of New Beginnings.

Do you have a pet, and if so, is it a rescue?

Were you satisfied with the ending in The Summer of New Beginnings? Why or why not? If not, what would you have changed?

If you could ask Bette Lee Crosby a question about the book, what would it be?

Have you read other books by Bette Lee Crosby? Is this book similar to her other books or is it different?

Did you learn anything, gain a new perspective, have an idea from reading The Summer of New Beginnings?

The Summer of New Beginnings Food and Drink

Roasted Pork Loin Recipe

CLICK HERE to get the recipe

9 Rules for How to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee

CLICK HERE to find out how

The Best Mashed Potatoes

CLICK HERE for the recipe

Top 5 Cocktails in America

Try one of these at your next book club meeting. If the rest are drinking iced tea, try the Long Island Iced Tea. CLICK HERE – for the list

Fluffy Pancakes Recipe

CLICK HERE for the recipe

Add scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausage to make it a huge breakfast like in The Summer of New Beginnings

Fresh Orange Juice

Lightly smack each orange on the counter. Cut each one in half. Squeeze into a glass. You may also use a citrus reamer to do this. If you want less pulp, use a hand juicer with a strainer.

To Die for Blueberry Muffins

CLICK HERE for the recipe

Good Pinot Noir for Under $15

CLICK HERE – for the list

Chicken and Dumplings

CLICK HERE for the recipe

Classic Spanish Sangria

CLICK HERE – for the recipe

Meet the characters of The Summer of New Beginnings

Spare Change Book Club Gear

Have a book club you would like Bette Lee Crosby to attend via Skype?
Please CLICK HERE to contact Bette Lee Crosby.

Book Discussion Questions

SPOILERS AHEAD

The novel Spare Change addresses a number of issues and covers a time span of over fifty years, which of the following would you consider this book – Historical Fiction, Murder Mystery, Women’s Fiction or Inspirational Fiction?

The story takes place in the first half of the twentieth century, do think it was possible back then to successfully have both a career and a family?

Have you ever known a woman who like Olivia, felt that having children would be a detriment to the other aspects of her life?

Olivia had a lot of foolish superstitions; do you have any superstitions that you know are foolish?

After Charlie’s death, did you suspect the okra soup Canasta gave Olivia actually had a magical quality that brought about happiness?

When Olivia returned to live in Charlie’s apartment the residents felt that she was responsible for his death and they shunned her—do you think there was something she might have said or done to convince them otherwise? In a similar circumstance do you think you’d be more forgiving or do you think it’s human nature to resent the interloper?

Ethan Allen’s mother Susanna was a lot like Olivia in that she had aspirations of a career and she did not want children – did they differ only in education and refinement or could you see other distinctions?

Susanna’s husband Benjamin knew she wanted to be a singer when he asked her to marry him – was he at fault for thinking he could change her or was she to blame for thinking he’d be her ticket to New York?

Susanna and Ethan Allen had a rather strange relationship; it was not parental but did you believe it to be loving relationship?

When Susanna finally decided to take Ethan Allen and go to New York without Benjamin, was she justified in making that decision?

When Benjamin used her money to buy a new tractor, was he justified in doing so? How do you think you’d react if without prior discussion your spouse withdrew your savings and bought something he wanted/needed?

Ethan Allen was not your typical innocent child—he manipulated people to get the things he wanted—was it excusable because of his home life? Did you see the parallel in how his parents manipulated each other in their attempts to get what they wanted?

The gas station owner Tom Behrens helped Ethan Allen get to Wyattsville, do you think he was in his mind righting the wrongs of his own childhood?

When Ethan Allen arrived at Olivia’s why do you think he was reluctant to tell the truth of what he’d seen?

Did you think Detective Jack Mahoney was simply trying to close a case or had a genuine concern for Ethan Allen?

Did you feel Sam Cobb got involved as he did because he was trying to garner a departmental promotion or because he was trying to protect his father? If you were in the position of knowing your parent or sibling had committed a crime would you tell the truth to investigators?

What about Emma Cobb, should she have hidden the bloody shirt and what did you see as her alternatives?

Although Olivia never wanted children, she allowed Ethan Allen to stay—what did you see as her reason for doing so? Did you feel that it was because she had also experienced the feeling of being alone and friendless?

After Scooter Cobb was killed, Olivia told the police that she shot Scooter but allowed Ethan Allen to believe that he had done it. Did you see this as a kindness to the boy because he could believe that he’d saved someone he cared about whereas with his parents he’d been unable to do anything?

The final chapter takes place in Heaven, would you have written it differently?

Spare Change Food and Drink

13 Creative Hot Dog Recipes

CLICK HERE to get the recipes

Champagne

Charlie and Olivia celebrate their marriage with champagne.

Spam and Beans by The English Kitchen

CLICK HERE for the recipe

9 Rules for How to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee

CLICK HERE to find out how

Southern Living’s 27 Chicken Casserole Recipes

CLICK HERE for the recipes

Enjoy local artisan beer

Canasta’s Okra Soup

CLICK HERE for the recipe

Fresh Orange Juice

Lightly smack each orange on the counter. Cut each one in half. Squeeze into a glass. You may also use a citrus reamer to do this. If you want less pulp, use a hand juicer with a strainer.

Homemade Southern Moon Pies

CLICK HERE for the recipe

Burgundy Wine

Charlie and Olivia drank Burgundy Wine while on their Honeymoon in Florida

Meet the characters of Spare Change