Thank you so much for picking THE SECRET LIFE OF SUNFLOWERS as your book club read!!!
I love the Theodore Roosevelt quote “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Isn't it funny, how as children we just know that? And then as adults we forget. I very nearly talked myself out of writing Sunflowers. It was a completely new genre to me. I didn't have an agent. I didn't have a publisher. While romance is a genre that does well in the indie market, I've been warned that for women's fiction/book club fiction an author needs serious publisher backing and major promo. (Honestly, it's ridiculous to even think that I'm going to be able to compete with Reese Witherspoon's book club picks.)
I wrote the book anyway. I put everything into it: my heart, three indomitable women, and a pet chicken! And now you're reading their story. I'm still having a hard time believing that other people are finally meeting my characters.
Here are some suggestions for discussion points. Pick and choose as you wish.
- Have you ever heard of Johanna Bonger before reading THE SECRET LIFE OF SUNFLOWERS? What did you most like about her? What did you dislike about her?
- Do you think Jo and Theo could have done more to help Vincent?
- What did you think about Emsley's story? Was a modern-day heroine helpful in introducing you to Johanna's world, or was that story line just an unnecessary distraction for you?
- Both Jo and Emsley overcome difficulties. Have you ever done something that you didn't think you could do? What motivated you? What did you learn from it? How does it make you feel to think back to those times?
- The theme of the book is inspiring women. Who are some people in your family or circle of friends that you admire? Why? Have you told them lately that you're proud of them or that they inspire you? (My theory is that life is short, and if I can make another person feel good, I need to do it ASAP. Positive feedback might be something they desperately need right now.)
- Is there something that you'd like to do, something that would make a big difference in your life, but you aren't sure whether you can do it?
- As you listened to others in the group list the things they want to do, did you hear anything you might be able to help with?
- If a relative left you a mystery box, what would you like to find inside?
If you'd like to share any of your responses with me, or if you wouldn't mind telling me what you thought about the book (all feedback is super helpful), please visit me on Facebook. You can find me under Author Marta Molnar.
I'd love to hear from you!