Beyond Mr. Darcy: Romantic Historical Fiction discussion

Fireworks Over Toccoa
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Christie (cereale) | 202 comments Mod
Every so often that story comes along that reminds us of what it’s like to experience love for the first time—against the odds, when you least expect it, and with such passion that it completely changes you forever.

An unexpected discovery takes eighty-four-year-old Lily Davis Woodward to 1945, and the five days that forever changed her life. Married for only a week before her husband was sent to fight in WWII, Lily is anxious for his return, and the chance to begin their life together. In honor of the soldiers' homecoming, the small Georgia town of Toccoa plans a big celebration. And Jake Russo, a handsome Italian immigrant, also back from war, is responsible for the elaborate fireworks display the town commissioned. But after a chance encounter in a star-lit field, he steals Lily's heart and soul--and fulfills her in ways her socially-minded, upper-class family cannot. Now, torn by duty to society and her husband--and the poor, passionate man who might be her only true love--Lily must choose between a commitment she's already made and a love she’s never known before.

Fireworks Over Toccoa takes us to a moment in time that will resonate with readers long after the book’s unforgettable conclusion. A devastating and poignant story, this debut novel will resonate with anyone who believes in love.

Christie (cereale) | 202 comments Mod
I hope everyone enjoyed this book as much as I did. Here are some discussion questions. You are more than welcome to discuss whatever you want about this book though, don't feel tied to the discussion questions.

1. Married at seventeen only two weeks before her husband left for war, Lily meets and falls for Jake after her husband has been gone for three and a half years. Do you think it was wrong for Lily to accept Jake’s invitation to dinner in the field? What was your response to her feelings for Jake and decision to begin an affair with him?

2. After Jake saw Lorena step on a landmine in Italy, he believes that events in life are arbitrary, that “life and death… it’s a matter of a breath, a heartbeat… a single footstep.” Do you believe that things happen due to “the simple timing of things,” as Jake does? Or do you, like Lily, believe that things happen for a reason?

3. Do you think duty is ever more important than love?

4. Were you surprised by what happened to Paul on his way home? How do you think this event resonates with the theme of arbitrary occurrences vs. destiny?

Christie (cereale) | 202 comments Mod
I read this book while recuperating from wisdom teeth removal and thought it was very good.

My answers to the discussion questions:
1. Though Lily's decision to join Jake in the field and begin an affair with him may have been questionable, it was easy to understand why it happened. Her husband had been at war for 4 years and she had been lonely. Humans are made to relate to one another and be loved and sometimes those needs are filled in not the most desirable way. I thought Jake and Lily were a better fit than Paul and Lily.

2. I believe that things definitely happen for a reason though we may not necessarily understand or see the reasoning behind it. I think we like to think things happen for a reason to keep from being overwhelmed by the pain and tragedy in life.

3. I think duty is very important in life. We all have duties to our families and the people we love. However, I don't think you should stay with someone you don't love out of duty. You end up hurting more than anything else at that point.

4. I was very surprised by what happened to Paul on the way home. I did not see it coming. I think that things happen for a reason still and the reasoning for this occurance was to help Lily develop into who she was meant to be.

April (AJoyS) | 129 comments I just finished this book and I enjoyed. I joined he book group at the end of April and I going back and read past books.
My answer to disscussion question:
1. While I feel that Lily decision to join Jake in the field was not the aporate decision from a moral stand point, I do understand why it happened. The curcumstances of Lily being so young when she married, being married for a short time and being away from her husband for such a long time was certainly a reciepe for the affair to happen.

2.I belive as Jake does that things happen because of simple timing. "Time and unforseen occurance be fall them all" Ecclesiastes 9:11

3. I don't really have an answer for this question. I think duty and love a both important and would have to base my decision on the situtation.

4.Paul's death was a major shock to me.

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