Home » Book Club Meet #3 – The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

Book Club Meet #3 - The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

Book Club Meet #3 – The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

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.

  1. Did you enjoy the book and why, and would you recommend it to a friend?
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. 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?
  5. 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?
  6. 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?
  7. 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?
  8. 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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  1. Ok, I finished last night, and loved the book! I would recommend it to my friends, but with a little bit of a warning. I mostly read Christian fiction, Non-fiction, and children’s books. Oh how I LOVE Brandon Mull! So the sex stuff I could have done without. Though it was not horrible, or over the top, it was still a little uncomfortable for me.

    I can not, for the life of me figure out what Lou saw in Devlin! She was so strong and independent with great friends for support. She really did not need him, or his fake love. It seemed as though they were an awful match from the get go. I did not see good looks in him because he was such a jerk. It was obvious that he did not truly care for her.

    I enjoy cooking. I am not sure if I get that from family or not. I remember my grandmothers fried potatoes! She has passed so I will never learn her secrets, though I have tried to get them right. I remember my other Grandmother making homemade dumplings. I remember thinking that it was way to much trouble and that I would stick with my moms way, egg yoke noodles. As luck would have it, I really enjoy making dumplings, and egg yoke noodles do NOT really make a good pot of Chicken-n-Dumplings! Plus, it is my youngest sons favorite meal! 🙂

    There was not a specific moment when Al won me over. I always understood his review, though he should have went back. I am not sure after food poisoning if I would have went back, I mean really, who would! I think he kind of gradually grew on me as I saw how much he cared for Lou and how much he changed. Everyone has the potential to change, if they can open their eyes and see their issues. I think it takes a very strong person to see that their way of thinking and doing this is a little off, and work to make changes.

    I was definitely NOT surprised by Devlin’s excuse! He would have said anything to get his “ideal” relationship back. I think he was not telling the whole truth. I also think that shaping and bending the facts to suit you is the same as lying. “Tactful omissions” really!? Um dude, you are lying! I would like to know what really happened though.

    I think that Al’s decision to keep his identity a secret from Lou was wrong. I think that the lie hurt just as much as the review. If she was honest with herself, she would have seen why she got the review that she did. She was not fit to be in the kitchen that night and gave someone food poisoning. I feel that lying is wrong no matter what the reasoning. I do feel that there was a difference in the lies of Devlin and Al though. I think Devlin’s lies were completely self serving. Al’s lies were because he did not want to hurt or loose the woman that he loved. I also think that both lies should be forgiven. Lou should not have been with Devlin and I think that she would have realized that eventually (hopefully before the marriage) and ended the relationship.

    I think that every person should be forgiven. We are forgiven much and should therefore do the same for others. Also, harboring un-forgiveness mainly hurts yourself. She was right, it creates a hard heart. We all make mistakes, we do not forgive each other we are all going to be very lonely people.

    I did not really think about the online review thing very much. The thing that I do not like about online reviews is that there are so many ugly people out there. They could post bad review just for the fun of it. Also there are those to are quite picky and something that bothered them may not bother someone else. I do not really read online reviews for restaurants very much.

    Thank you so much for hosting this! I really enjoyed the book.

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