Reading Group Guide for The Wedding Machine

1. The Wedding Machine is written in third person, but each chapter is devoted to different, alternating points of view. What affect do the shifting viewpoints have on the story? Is there one character that forms the emotional core of the book? Discuss.

2. Consider the “watermelon stealing” flashback. Why is the memory of this event significant to each of the four women who form The Wedding Machine? In what ways were their roles and personas established on that summer night so many decades ago?

3. In the prologue, the four gals are described as “young, hopeful virgins promised to their small town sweethearts.” In what way is the prospect of marriage promising to each of them? Whose marriage has survived and thrived. Whose hasn’t? Why?

4. How is the town of Jasper changing? Who is threatened by this change and why?

5. Ray says that the gals can hardly relate to their offspring. Why do you think this is? What constitutes the chasm between these two generations?

6. Consider the friendships of the foursome. How do they grow and deepen over the course of the story? Does Hilda’s “hiding out” contribute to this growth?

7. Why does Sis need to get rid of the wedding dress? How does this contribute to her character’s development?

8. Consider Kitty B.’s Thanksgiving confrontation with LeMar. Do you agree with the ultimatum she gave him?

9. What revelation does Ray have at the Healing Prayer Day? How does her conversation with Cousin Willy about her family history bolster this revelation?

10. Do you think Hilda will ever come out of hiding? Imagine how and when this might happen. Describe.

Comments are closed.