Discussion Questions for Bluebird, Bluebird (2019):
1. Which character is your favorite and why? Whom do you find most engaging?
2. In Chapter 1, we meet Darren Matthews on the witness stand giving testimony in a court case. What do we learn about him — his family, his past, his marriage, his quirks and personality traits?
3. Was Darren right to have driven out to help his friend Rutherford McMillan? Was he right to have filed a report afterward? In other words, where should Darren's loyalty lie: with the Rangers or with an old family friend? What would you have done?
4. How would you describe the relationship between Geneva Sweet and Darren? Why does Darren seem to want Geneva's approval, or at least her good will? Why does Geneva withhold her friendship from Darren?
5. How would you describe the racial environment in Lark, Texas?
6. Why does Sheriff Van Horn concentrate on solving the death of Missy Dale while ignoring Michael Wright's?
7. When Randi Winston wonders why her husband came to Texas, saying "this was not his home," Darren disagrees. What is it about Texas, especially places like Lark and Shelby County, that gives Darren such a keen sense of home despite the both subtle and far-from-subtle racism? Why does he refuse to leave Texas?
8. As Wendy looks around Geneva's cafe, she observes that "Forty-some-odd years after the death of Jim Crow, not much had changed." Although she is initially thinking of the cafe itself, what else in the county-at-large is unchanged?
9. Daren's uncles advise Darren to follow the "ancient rules of southern living." What are those rules, and why are they so important to black men?
10. Darren asks Sheriff Van Horn for a copy of the autopsy report for Michael Wright. But Darren already has access to it through his FBI friend Gregg. Why does he pretend he needs a copy?
11. So…are you straight about who killed whom? Who killed (and why) Michael Wright? Who killed (and why) Missy Dale? And who killed (and why) Joe Sweet, Geneva's husband … and Joe Sweet, Jr., Geneva's son? What about Isaac? How did he come to have a role in all of this?
12. Finally, are you clear on who is related to whom?
13. SPOILER ALERT: What about Darren's mother? What does her discovery of Mac's gun indicate? And what power will the fact that she possesses it give her ... and over whom?
14. What do you think of the book's title? How does it relate to the book's contents? What other title might you choose?
15. What are your predictions for Darren and Lisa's marriage? Do you have sympathy for Lisa's position: that she married a young lawyer who would be a steady partner with her but now his job takes him away from her? Or do you think she should accept Darren's desire to be a Ranger?
16. Are you interested in reading Locke's sequel, Heaven, My Home? Are there questions you hope it will answer? If so, what are they?
17. What feelings did this book evoke for you?
18. What other books did this remind you of?