printed copy

A New Kind Of Bliss

Bettye Griffin

ISBN 9780758283689
Publish Date 3/5/2013
Format Paperback
Categories Fiction, Dafina
List Price: $6.99

“Griffin is a budding name in mainstream African American fiction.” —Chicago magazine

After her father’s death, Emily Yancy agrees to move back to her dead-end hometown. But she’s dreading every minute she’ll have to spend in her mother’s tiny apartment. After all, she’s a forty-three-year-old divorcée who’s doing just fine on her own. There are some rewards for dutiful daughters though—like Aaron Merritt, a rich, single doctor with chocolate skin and bedroom eyes…

Aaron is soon taking Emily to fancy restaurants and inviting her to meet his family. But when the lights go out, something’s missing. Enter Teddy Simms, Emily’s eighth-grade crush. Teddy hasn’t achieved what Aaron has—but he’s picked up a few skills in other areas. Will Emily choose a relationship that doesn’t satisfy her mind—or an easy compatibility that doesn’t quite extend into the bedroom? Or is there some way she can find the best of both worlds?

“A compelling drama about three families striving for the American dream.” —Booklist on If These Walls Could Talk

“Fear and joy practically leap off the pages. A well-written story you will hate to see end.” —RT Book Reviews on Once Upon a Project

“Griffin expertly explores the universal search for love.” --Booklist

Discussion Questions

1. Emily’s siblings felt she was the best candidate to return to Euliss because she was unmarried. Other families sometimes burden those judged to be the most successful with things like paying for family reunions and funerals. Do you feel this is fair? Why or why not?

2. Emily’s middle name, Louise, came from her paternal grandmother. What are your feelings about giving a child an unfashionable name (Elmer, Sylvester, Gertrude, Mabel, etc.) in honor of a beloved relative?

3. Emily’s disappointment in Aaron’s performance in the bedroom led her into Teddy’s arms. She felt reluctant to broach the subject with Aaron, worried that his limited sexual experience versus her more worldliness was too sensitive a topic. What would you have done in that situation?

4. Do you believe that Beverline would view any woman Aaron brought home as a potential replacement for her daughter and express dislike for her?

5. Did you empathize with Beverline’s predicament at all?

6. Emily had been deeply hurt by her ex-husband’s duplicity, and she divorced him because of it. Yet years later, she found herself doing the same thing to Aaron, even though she wasn’t married to him. What are your feelings about her behavior and her efforts to justify it?

7. Both Emily and her mother felt that Valerie, who was twenty-seven when she had her first child, had given up on finding a husband way too soon in favor of deliberate single motherhood. What do you think?

8. Marsha did not learn her husband was not a legitimate businessman until well into their marriage. With no skills to fall back on, she chose to stay with him and risk the consequences, and she was left penniless after he was murdered. How do you think she should have handled the situation?

9. Teddy told Emily he believed they would make a good team. She was skeptical of this. Do you feel he was sincere or, just as Emily felt, looking for someone to help with his rent increase?

10. Are you, as a reader, content with the hopeful but undefined note upon which this story ended for the female characters? Would you like to know more about Teddy’s and Wayne’s relationships? (You’ll actually have to e-mail me with the answer to this one. Go to my website at

About Bettye Griffin:

Bettye Griffin is the author of A New Kind of Bliss, Once Upon A Project, If These Walls Could Talk, Nothing But Trouble, and The People Next Door. A native of Yonkers, New York, she now lives in Southeast Wisconsin with her husband.

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