With its corrugated iron siding and cramped
interior, the Cherico, Mississippi, library is no Antebellum gem. But for young
librarian Maura Beth Mayhew, it’s as essential to the community as the delicious
desserts at the Twinkle, Twinkle Café. It’s a place for neighbors to mingle and
browse through the newest bestsellers, for the indomitable Miss Voncille Nettles
to host her “Who’s Who in Cherico?” meetings. The library may be underfunded and
overlooked, but it’s Maura Beth’s pride, and she won’t let the good ole boys on
the City Council close it down without a fight.
Which is why Maura Beth has founded the Cherry Cola Book Club—a last-ditch
attempt to boost circulation and save her job. Over potluck dinners featuring
treasured family recipes, the booklovers of Cherico come together to talk about
literary classics. But soon it’s not just Margaret Mitchell and Harper Lee being
discussed over chicken gumbo and homemade biscuits with green pepper jelly.
Secrets are shared, old dreams rekindled, and new loves slowly blossom.
Southern charm, wit, and warmth combine in this delightful novel about great
books, true friends, and the stories that give life its richest meaning, on and
off the page.
1. Discuss the female character who fascinates you the
most, and give the pros and cons of her personality.
2. Discuss the male character who fascinates you the
most, and give the pros and cons of his personality.
3. Assign someone to argue for The Cherico Library’s
existence against someone else who supports the City
Council’s point of view for its dissolution. Let the
group decide who won the argument.
4. Does Cherico reflect some of the economic and cultural
realities of your hometown?
5. Which of the couples most resembles your relationship
with your spouse or significant other: Becca and
Stout Fella; Miss Voncille and Locke Linwood; Douglas
6. The character of Pamela Linwood, though deceased,
plays an important role in the plot. How do each of
you view that role?
7. What has your local library meant to you?
8. Over the long haul, do you think Maura Beth Mayhew
is fighting a losing battle?
9. Do you think taxpayers in general have a realistic
view of what it takes to keep a library up and running?
10. Do you think library services should fall into the
same category for funding as firefighting, police protection,
streets,water and utilities?
11. Did you ever make the sort of wish/bucket list
that Maura Beth Mayhew made on page twenty-five
of her journal (Three Things to Accomplish Before
12. Pretend you are a female member of The Cherry
Cola Book Club. Do you fall into the Scarlett or the
Melanie category as a modern woman?
13. Pretend you are a member (either gender) of The
Cherry Cola Book Club. What role do you think To
Kill a Mockingbird played in the passage of the 1964
Civil Rights Act, if any?
14. There will be a sequel to The Cherry Cola Book Club.
What do you hope will happen in that book?
15. What is your favorite sequence in The Cherry Cola