Snowflake Secrets Discussion Questions
- From the descriptions of the four little girls, what do you expect their personalities to be like as adults? Why?
- These are the traditional birth order characteristics:
POSITION FAMILY SITUATION CHILD'S CHARACTERISTICS Oldest Dethroned by next child. Has to learn to share. Often given responsibility and expected to set an example. Feels power is his right. Can become helpful if encouraged. Assumes responsibility for the others. Second He has a pacesetter in the oldest sibling. There is always someone ahead. Is more competitive. May become a rebel or try to outdo everyone. Competition can deteriorate into rivalry. Middle Is "sandwiched" in. May feel squeezed out of a position of privilege and significance. May be even-tempered, "take it or leave it" attitude. May have trouble finding a place or become a fighter of injustice. Youngest Has many mothers and fathers. Older children try to educate. Never dethroned. Wants to be bigger than the others. May have huge plans that never work out. Can stay the "baby." Frequently spoiled.
When you first meet them, do the girls in the story seem to fit these characteristics?
- Are there any holiday traditions in the Sullivan household that are the same as yours? Are some of them different? Would you have liked to have shared their celebration?
- Carole is ready to give up on life after the death of her husband. Have you ever felt that way after a loss? Have you ever known anyone like her?
- Why do you think Carole and her mother fight all the time? Do you have a parent with whom you are at odds? Why?
- Carole decides to go away for the weekend with a man she barely knows. Why do you think she made that decision? Would you?
- Allegra stays for many years in an unhappy marriage. Why? Have you ever known anyone in a similar relationship?
- Why does she feel like such a failure?
- What attracts her to Drew? And what attracts Drew to her?
- Why do you think Sonata is such a rebel? Do you think her choices are good ones? Why or why not?
- With all the hardship she witnesses, why does she continue to do the kind of work she does? And why does she stay away for so long?
- How does her African family help her to understand her own family?
- Why does everyone turn to Melody? What about her has made her the family peacekeeper?
- Melody and Mike’s marriage has gotten stale. What else might they have done to renew the spark?
- Both Mel and Mike have kept secrets from each other. Did that help renew their bond, or did their secrets add to their distance from each other?
- Do you think Great-aunt Maude is really with the girls in spirit? Have you ever felt the presence of someone who has died near you?
- The girls have slightly different impressions of their mother. All of them see her as strong, but that strength appears differently to each of them. Does this seem familiar to your family experiences? How?
- Did you have a favorite sister? Why? Which one would you like to have for a friend? Why?
- What do you think is the real secret of the snowflake?