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Right as Rainby Bev Marshall
Reading Group Guide
1. Right as Rain follows Tee Wee and Iceys friendship from their first meeting until the scene between them at the end of the novel. While they love and support each other, theirs is a relationship fraught with competition. In one scene their anger incites them to an actual physical battle. Is this friendship realistic? How does it compare to the relationships of modern women?
2. What impact does the civil rights movement have on each of the
characters, especially the African-American characters? How would
their lives differ today had they been born post-civil rights movement?
3. The author of Right as Rain is white. However, the majority of the
voices in the novel are those of African Americans. How well did she
depict those voices? In what passages did she fail or succeed?
4. Many of the conversations between Ruthie and Dimple center on
sex and religion. How do their views differ? To what do you attribute
their dissimilar views on sexuality and God?
5. Crow is one of the most complex characters in Right as Rain. She is
determined to leave Parsons Place and, after the death of her cat, vows
never to love anyone or anything. Yet, she falls in love with Browder,
seemingly against her will. How and why does she recant her earlier
feelings? Is this consistent with her character?
6. Much of Part Three is devoted to J.P.s trial. Considering the era
and J.P.s race, did you expect the verdict to be guilty or not guilty? To
what or whom do you attribute the verdict? Is it a realistic one?
7. Ruthies relationship with Dennis is problematic throughout the
novel. Trace the development of that relationship beginning in high
school. Why did Ruthie marry Dennis? What factors contributed to her
staying in an abusive relationship for so many years?
8. The mother-daughter relationships in Right as Rain differ greatly
between the African Americans and the Parsonses. Characterize and
contrast the interaction between Tee Wee and Crow and Mrs. Parsons
9. Browders obsession with films and Crow begins in puberty. Yet he
marries Missy and takes over the farm after his father dies. Do you see
Browder as a weak character or do you consider his actions noble?
Why? Would his relationship with his father change if the novel were
set in recent times and, if so, in what ways?
10. At the end of the novel Icey and Tee Wee have become business
partners. Do you think this partnership will succeed? Why? What do
you foresee happening between them as they grow older?
11. If Crow had told Browder about her pregnancy, how would he
have reacted to this news?
12. The bond between Ruthie and Tee Wee is sustained throughout
the novel. Trace the development of their relationship from Ruthies
childhood to J.P.s going-away party. How does their relationship change?
How does it remain constant?
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