Nicole Seitz, Author of Southern Fiction
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BEYOND MOLASSES CREEK
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THE INHERITANCE OF BEAUTY
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SAVING CICADAS
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A HUNDRED YEARS OF HAPPINESS
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TROUBLE THE WATER
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THE SPIRIT OF SWEETGRASS
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Recent Progress in Gullah/Geechee and sweetgrass culture

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books - Saving Cicadas

Saving Cicadas by Nicole SeitzReader's Guide/Book Club Questions

  1. The first line of the book is, “Do you believe in past lives?” Discuss this theme of “past lives” in Saving Cicadas. Who has them? What power do “past lives” play in the characters’ lives? What power do they have in our own lives?

  2. Saving Cicadas is narrated by a child. Do you remember something you thought as a child that was incorrect? Do you remember the first time you learned a difficult truth? Janie and Rainey see the world in black and white, right or wrong. When do shades of gray begin to cloud our vision? Is it possible to view the world in black and white again? Should we?

  3. What are the challenges Priscilla faces when she learns that she’s pregnant? How does she deal with the news?

  4. Rainey has Down’s Syndrome. In what ways does this affect her character? Her future? How does it affect her family dynamics? What challenges do special needs children present? What blessings do they offer? Have you been touched in your own life by someone with Down’s Syndrome? In what way?

  5. What are Priscilla’s choices regarding her pregnancy? Do you believe every woman has the right to choose? Does every woman face the same choices or are they weighted based on circumstance? How does making a poor choice affect future choices?

  6. Do you know of someone who has faced an unplanned pregnancy? If so, what choice did she make? How did her choice affect her in the long run?

  7. What is the most powerful scene in the book for you?

  8. With which character do you most relate? Priscilla, Mona, Rainey, or Janie?

  9. The Internet allows us access to all sorts of information. Do you think it can affect the choices we make? If you did not grow up with the Internet, do you feel you were as informed as are the youth of today? How might your life have been different?

  10. What is Poppy’s role in this book? What about Grandma Mona’s? Why did she seem to change so much?

  11. Discuss the character of Harlan. Though he’s gone, does he play an important part in the Macy family?

  12. There is a theme of “ghosts” and being “spirit-filled” in Saving Cicadas. Discuss.

  13. Why is it so hard for Priscilla to go back home to Forest Pines? Is it important for people to go back home? Why or why not?

  14. Discuss the role of fear in this book. Who is fearful? Of what? Does fear affect the decisions the characters make? Is anyone courageous?

  15. Who is the true heroine of this book? Does she get what she wants in the end?

  16. Discuss faith or lack thereof as it relates to Fritz, Priscilla, Janie, and Rainey.

  17. In the end, does Priscilla share her secret of the window? Why or why not?

  18. Why do you think the title is Saving Cicadas? Is it possible to save cicadas? Who is attempting to save them?
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The Spirit of Sweetgrass Trouble the Water, coming February 2008!