Welcome to Dreams and Caffeine’s third book club meeting! Below are a list of discussion points regarding The Coincidence of Coconut Cake. Feel free to jump in and hit all of the discussion points or only the ones you like in the comment section below. The next book selection will be posted on Friday, November 25th, since Thanksgiving is on Thursday.
- Did you enjoy the book and why, and would you recommend it to a friend?
- It is clear from the opening chapter of the book that Devlin and Lou have divergent plans for the future. What do you think drew them together in the first place? Did you find Devlin, with his good looks and promise of financial stability, alluring or stifling?
- Both Al and Lou have fond memories of their grandmothers’ cooking, from Luella’s famous coconut cake to the rusty cast-iron skillet that Al holds dear. What are some of your favorite culinary memories or traditions? How have they evolved -or not- over the years?
- As Lou plays tour guide to Al and opens him up to a wealth of new experiences, she gradually smooths over his gruff exterior. How does your perception of Al change throughout the book? Was there a specific moment where you started to find him more likable?
- Devlin says to Lou, “I may shape and bend the facts in my favor or make tactful omissions, but I don’t lie.” Were you surprised to hear Devlin’s explanation for the scantily clad intern in his apartment? Do you think he was telling the whole truth?
- What do you think about Al’s decision to keep his identity a secret from Lou, particularly after he learns that Luella’s is her restaurant? Are his lies more forgivable than Devlin’s behavior? How would you have handled the situation if you were in Al’s shoes?
- Gertrude emphasizes the importance of second changes to Lou. “Don’t let your heart get too hard,” she says. “[Al] made you happy. That was not an act. Try to forgive him- promise me.” Do you agree with Gertrude’s beliefs that a person deserves forgiveness as long as his or her intentions are good? What personal experiences have shaped your own attitude toward second chances?
- While the story of Luella’s is fictional, its not uncommon for a new restaurant to fail because of negative press – particularly in the age of crowd-sourced online reviews. Did the book make you more sympathetic to the plight of struggling business owners and the impact of online reviews?
I hope you join me for next month’s book club… I will announce the new title on Friday this week, since Thursday is Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving!
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