by Mary Kay Andrews
Savannah Blues is a delightful, witty novel by an author who is destined to become the Susan Isaacs of the South. It's the story of a woman who is coming to terms with a life that has suddenly changed -- seemingly not for the better -- and it has a delicious revenge-against-the-bimbo-who-stole-your-ex plot.
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1. Discuss Weezie's character. What are her values? Her fears? Her ambitions? Does she change in any fundamental way by the end of the novel?
2. The first chapter sets up one emotional triangle -- the ex-wife, the husband, the girlfriend. Discuss Weezie's marriage to Tal: was it a "good marriage"? What went wrong? At the beginning of Chapter 7, Weezie says, "Right after Tal announced he was in love with somebody else and wanted a divorce, I was so depressed, all my friends were afraid I was suicidal. I ran around and did all the things women do when their lives are shattered into little pieces." In your own experience, what are those things? Yet even after all Tal has done, Weezie still entertains thoughts of reconciliation. Do you find her post-divorce emotions for him typical or unusual?
3. Bebe Loudermilk also makes an appearance in the first chapter. In what respects is she the archetypal best friend? Of all the people who form Weezie's "support system," do you think Bebe is the strongest member? Why or why not?
4. Daniel is a sexy guy. Besides the chemistry between Weezie and him, what do they have in common? What weighs in against this relationship lasting? What does it have going for it? What's your long-range prognosis?
5. Weezie's mother Marian has been drinking for years. What event forces Weezie to face the reality of Marian's alcoholism? Do you find what happens to Marian after the intervention to be convincing, or not?
6. What does the plantation Beaulieu represent? Is it worth saving? Should great old houses such as this one be preserved? Nearby Charleston, South Carolina, has an aggressive preservation program with very strict regulations forbidding the demolition or alteration of older buildings. Do you think such a program should be instituted nationwide? How much of our heritage should we save?
7. Discuss whether you believe the South is more sensitive to, or aware of, American history than other parts of the United States? Why or why not?
8. Is Savannah unique as a city? What contributes to its special character? Can you think of any other city that would have served as well as a backdrop for this story?
9. Weezie's "antiquing" embodies this past decade's enthusiasm for the yard sale, garage sale, flea market, Antiques Roadshow, and eBay. What do you make of this phenomenon? In the 1950s, for example, few people wanted "old things." Everyone wanted new furniture, new homes, new appliances. Today's chic "vintage" clothing were once called hand-me-downs. Speculate on the reasons for this change of perception.
10. Provenance, or a record of origin for an antique, is important in proving its authenticity. Fakes abound in Savannah Blues, from furniture to people. In what way is nearly everyone in the novel a fake -- and who becomes authentic, or true to themselves, by the end of the book? Do you think self-deception is always destructive?
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"Quirky, endearing characters make Savannah Blues one heck of a good time."
"I really loved Savannah Blues. Mary Kay Andrews has perfect pitch when it comes to endearing, smart-mouth heroines."
--Anne Rivers Siddons
"A shining novel of wit, love, and hilarious--yet poignant--vengeance."
"A great heroine, steamy Savannah setting, a hunky chef, antiques galore. It doesn’t get any better than this."
--Susan Elizabeth Phillips
"Savannah Blues serves up a tasty dish."
--Ann B. Ross