Nubian Circle Book Club

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The Upper Room - Discussion Questions

Provided by the Publisher - Kensington Publishing Corp.

  1. Do you fell that the people in Mama Ruby's life idolized her because they were afraid of her or because they loved her?
  2. Before Maureen's birth, her biological mother, Othella, already had more children than she needed, and this made Mama Ruby jealous.  If Mama Ruby had not kidnapped Othella's baby girl, do you think that Mama Ruby and Othella would have remained friends?
  3. Knowing that his mother had kidnapped another woman's child, was Ruby's son, Virgil, wrong for not sharing this information with the authorities once he reached adulthood?
  4. Should Virgil have, at least, told Maureen about her birth mother and the kidnapping once she reached adulthood?
  5. Even though Maureen clearly loved Mama Ruby, do you think that Maureen would have left Mama Ruby sooner if Virgil had told her about the kidnapping?
  6. When Maureens' birth mother, Othella, encountered Maureen, twenty-five years after her birth, she knew that Maureen was her missing child.  Had Othella turned Mama Ruby in to the authorities instead of confronting her and ending up dead, do you think Maureen would have chosen a relationship with her birth mother or supported Mama Ruby?
  7. Despite Mama Ruby's morbid obesity and her violent nature, she had no trouble getting lovers.  What do you think it was about Mama Ruby that made her attractive to men?
  8. If Maureen had moved to another state instead of just a few miles away from Mama Ruby, do you think that Mama Ruby would have still stalked her?
  9. Do you feel Maureen's leaving home contributed to Mama Ruby's death?
  10. Despite her violent nature, her alcoholism, and her insane set of rules, Mama Ruby raised two great kids.  People could count on her for spiritual guidance, emotional support, a good home-cooked meal, and advice.  If a person like Mama Ruby entered your life, would you embrace her or keep your distance?