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Neecey's Lullabyby Cris Burks
Reading Group Guide
1. Jesse disappears from the novel by chapter 4 and does not reappear until chapter 16. Whats the motivation for focusing on him in the first three chapters?
2. Neeceys Lullaby is set in the mid-1950s through early 1970s. Think about why the author might have chosen this time period instead of a more contemporary setting.
3. Della is aware of the beatings administered by Ruby. Why doesnt she interfere?
4. Miss Cole is concerned about Rubys treatment of Neecey. Why doesnt she contact the authorities? What resources do todays teachers have to help abused children? What resources do family, neighbors, and children have? What legal steps would be taken against a mother like Ruby today?
5. Throughout the novel, Ruby is in one bad relationship after another. How does this impact her relationship with the children? Which relationship or relationships are the children most comfortable with? Which relationship had the worse impact on the children? Why?
6. Knowing that Ruby chose the name Darcy Bane to reflect a poisonous relationship, why do you think she chose the names Serenda Joy and Jordan?
7. Although Ruby is abusive, Neecey often stands up to her. When and why?
8. After his accident, why does Manny think Ruby is the wrong person to care for him? Why is he upset that Neecey is moving?
9. In the final confrontation with Ruby, Jordan claims that Neecey has always been their mother. Why?
10. How would the novel change if it was told from Rubys point of view? Odessas point of view? Jacks point of view?
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