Laura Lane McNeal
A Viking Readers Guide
|AN INTRODUCTION TO DOLLBABY||ABOUT LAURA LANE MCNEAL|
|A CONVERSATION WITH LAURA LANE MCNEAL||DISCUSSION QUESTIONS|
- The novel's title is also the name of one of the characters in the book. Why do you think the author chose to name her book Dollbaby?
- Ibby's arrival to Fannie's home is the catalyst for change. How does Ibby transform the household?
- Ibby is warned early on not to ask Fannie about her past. Why is she given this advice?
- Why does Vidrine leave Ibby with Fannie? Later, after four years, why does Vidrine suddenly come back and what does she wish to achieve from the visit?
- As Ibby lives in Fannie's house, she begins to uncover its hidden truths, both physically and emotionally. What secrets does the house hide, and what do they mean to her?
- In some ways Fannie is very old-fashioned, yet in other ways she seems quite progressive for someone of her era. How would you characterize her, and why?
- Dollbaby wants to participate in the civil rights protests but Queenie tries to discourage her. What is the difference between their views on the issue and why do you think they differ?
- As the era unfolds, what are its effects on Fannie's household? How do the political realities trickle down to the personal ones?
- Fannie tells Ibby that she must be "willing to live the life that is waiting for you." What does she mean by this, and how does the advice relate to both of their lives?
- Through this novel McNeal seems to suggest that family is what we make it. How does Ibby's adopted family influence the person she ultimately becomes?