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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Wedding Bees: A Novel of Honey, Love, and Manners

1. When George first meets Sugar he observes: “I don’t get to meet many people like you these days. You new in town?” How is Sugar different from the New Yorkers that George is used to? And even though she’s a newcomer, are there ways that she fits right into her new home?

2. Sugar’s father says that “Wallaces don’t clean up other people’s messes. That’s just not what we do” and Sugar says “I don’t rescue people, that’s just so sappy.” But her longtime friend Jay says “Sugar, you are a one-woman detox center stroke guidance counselor stroke bank teller stroke babysitter stroke you name it.” Who is right? What motivates Sugar when she bonds with other people?

3. Why does Sugar seem so alarmed by Theo’s impetuous honesty about how he fell in love with her at first sight? Do you think he crossed a line? Why does the usually free-spirited Sugar seem to think he did?

4. What do you make of Ruby’s obsession with wedding announcements? What do they represent for her? Would she have approved of Sugar and Grady’s fairytale wedding?

5. Early on in the novel, George tells Sugar that “Where you’re from is where you’re from and a person will always miss it. There’s just no getting away from that.” Do Theo and Sugar miss where they’re from or are they happier where they’re transplanted? How do Sugar’s feelings about where she’s from change once she goes back to Charleston?

6. Sugar’s brother Ben tells her that he feels stuck in his life as a successful lawyer, and says “I’ve envied you over the years, carving out a different life for yourself, going where the wind blows you. That takes guts.” Do you envy Sugar? Could you do what she did? Would you want to?

7. Food is perhaps the most important way that Sugar relates to the people in her life, from the cakes and cocktails she makes to cement her relationship with her neighbors to her observation that her mother, despite “all her faults, she could make a really good pie.” What role does food play in your life? Are there certain recipes or dishes that are important to your relationships?

8. Of all the happy endings in THE WEDDING BEES, which is your favorite and why? Sugar and Theo’s wedding? Mr. McNally and Mrs. Keschl? Ruby? Lola?

9. The author, Sarah-Kate Lynch, opens this novel with the dedication: “In praise of random acts of kindness, good manners, and guardian angels.” Whose random acts of kindness carry the most weight? Whose good manners are most sorely tested (or most appreciated)? And which of the characters do you think are the guardian angels of this story?

The Wedding Bees: A Novel of Honey, Love, and Manners
by Sarah-Kate Lynch

  • Publication Date: January 28, 2014
  • Genres: Fiction, Romance
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
  • ISBN-10: 0062252607
  • ISBN-13: 9780062252609