Reading Group Discussion Questions
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Pocket Books has provided the following discussion questions to enrich your reading of Jewel , by Bret Lott. It's our hope that through your consideration of them you'll discover fresh perspectives from which to view this story of devotion, perseverance and strength. Enjoy!
  1. Jewel's mother called the stories of who Jewel was and where she came from, "stones in your pocket." What did she mean by this? What were Jewel's "stones" and how did they affect the course of her life?
  2. "I say unto you that the baby you be carrying be yo' hardship, be yo' test in this world. This by my prohpehsying unto you, Miss Jewel." These words of Cathedral not only carried great portent, but haunted Jewel throughout her life. Discuss the various implications of Cathedral's prophecy. With this same statement, the author interjects a spiritual element to the story. Is it believable? Or does it seem to run counter to the tone of the rest of the book?
  3. When Jewel slaps Cathedral, it is a defining moment for both of them. Besides being an expression of Jewel blaming Cathedral for Brenda Kay's accident, what else did this act signify? Was slapping Cathedral, a slap at faith?
  4. Did Jewel's determination and action-oriented path to help Brenda Kay diminish Jewel's religious faith?
  5. When Jewel returns to make amends with Cathedral and is offered no comfort, why does Cathedral reject her? Why is Cathedral angry and unforgiving?
  6. What did the author assign the names Jewel and Cathedral to these characters? Are we to assign meaning to them? If so, what?
  7. Jewel's attitude toward blacks and her understanding of racial issues evolved after moving to California. Was she able to overcome all of her prejudice? Did she eventually see blacks and whites as equal?
  8. To what degree did the racial attitudes of the south compared to those of Los Angeles affect Leston's ability to adjust to life in Los Angeles? Is Leston a racist? Discuss his attitude toward Blacks.


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