Welcome to In Leah’s Wake Book Club Week, a week of events devoted to helping readers (both existing and new) get more out of the literary fiction novel In Leah’s Wake.
– A character post from one of the central characters, Todd Corbett
– An excerpt from In Leah’s Wake
Book specific question
Will and Zoe are invested in providing for and doing well by their children, which means they work harder than perhaps they should. Work takes them away from their children; one day, they wake up and realize that, while they were working, pushing themselves to get ahead and succeed, their eldest child has gone off in a dangerous new direction.
As a culture, we put tremendous pressure on children to succeed, but we define success very narrowly, in terms of money and achievement. Leah recognizes the hypocrisy in the rat race. She’s lived her own version in soccer. She’s pushed herself hard; by most measures, she’s succeeded. Yet success does not make her happy – any more than achievements at work make Zoe or Will happy. Leah sees this and wants to simplify her life. That’s a positive impulse; unfortunately, partly because it’s nonconforming, it takes her in a negative direction.
As long as she’s willing to live up to the expectations of others, she’s accepted and even celebrated. As soon as she tries to take control of her own life, questions the rules, spreads her wings, she meets resistance. She’s suspended from the soccer team, her old friends abandon her, and her best friend’s mom forbids her daughter (Cissy) from hanging out with Leah. Because of their high profile, the family is known throughout the town. The middle school kids – Justine’s peers – whisper about her and the patients at the counseling center ostracize Zoe.
If we are indeed responsible for all members of our village, did this village meet their responsibilities? Why or why not?
Should the community – or school system – have done more to help the Tylers? Why or why not? If yes, what might they have done to help the family?
Who helped Leah and her family most? Who let Leah or the Tylers down? What were their motivations? Were they sincere or did they have selfish ulterior motives? Jerry Johnson falls in love with Zoe, for instance. Is this the only reason he steps in?
Why not leave a comment below and share your thoughts?
We hope you’ll also stop by the “Fun & Freebies” page, where you can access the In Leah’s Wake playlist, listen to some of Terri’s radio interviews and download In Leah’s Wake wallpaper files. And why not take the character quiz below and find out which In Leah’s Wake character you are?
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