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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

A Love Song for Ricki Wilde

1. Harlem creates a vibrant, exciting backdrop for this love story, a place for creatives and artists to find themselves and flourish. Describe the ways in which Harlem has changed over time in the novel. Discuss how this neighborhood functions within the novel. What role does it play beyond just a setting?

2. Ricki feels like an outsider in her family, never quite fitting in or meeting their expectations. In what ways does this dynamic challenge Ricki to achieve her goals, and how does it hold her back?

3. The power of love and relationships is a central theme throughout the novel, and we learn that both Ricki and Ezra have had tumultuous romantic, platonic and familial relationships. How is their romance different from ones they’ve had in the past, and how does it change their other relationships?

4. Ms. Della is Ricki’s guardian angel from the moment they meet, providing her with the support and encouragement that Ricki’s been missing. How is her outlook on life different from Ricki’s? Who in your life has been a Ms. Della figure?

5. Ezra’s past is a long and painful journey that takes him from one heartbreak to the next. Describe the mechanisms he’s developed to cope with his grief. How does opening his heart to Ricki lead him on the path toward healing?

6. What does A LOVE SONG FOR RICKI WILDE say about the power of love and vulnerability?

7. Ezra is preoccupied with the idea of legacy; and later, so is Ricki. How do they each leave their mark on the world? What does it say about what they value most?

8. Tuesday Rowe becomes Ricki’s closest friend. Though she’s fiercely confident in some ways, she’s wounded in others. How did her years as a child star impact her adult sense of self?

9. There are almost 100 years between Breeze’s 1927 interview with Olive Randall and Ricki’s 2024 interview with Clementine Rhodes. But the two journalists similarly imply that Black culture is given value when it’s sanctioned by white people. How does Ricki push back on this idea? Discuss the ways you see this still happening in the world today.

10. Ricki and Ezra are described as the “two luckiest lovers in the world” (page 332). How would you describe their love story? Do you think their romance is entirely due to fate and destiny? Or is it due to choices they made and personal growth?

A Love Song for Ricki Wilde
by Tia Williams

  • Publication Date: February 6, 2024
  • Genres: Fiction, Romance
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 153872670X
  • ISBN-13: 9781538726709