I hope you all are staying warm with all of the snow and cold weather! If you're snowed in like me (well not quite, I live in Atlanta so any amount of snow shuts our city down) today is a perfect day to have a book discussion!
Here are a few question I think would be fun to answer:
1. Misty’s relationships with the male figures in her life often bring her strength. Misty describes her wonderful relationship with Harold, her mother’s third husband. As she says, “Memories of Harold are never cloudy, only clear and bright.” Her relationship with Olu brings her strength and confidence. Why do you think these influences are powerful for her?
2. Misty contrasts her shyness to the confidence she feels dancing and performing. Of her childhood she says, “I felt awkward, like I didn’t fit in anywhere, and I lived in constant fear of letting my mother down, or my teachers, or myself.” How do you think her introverted personality affects her as a performer? Can anxiety become a strength, rather than a weakness?
3. Misty finds support and encouragement from ballet teacher Cindy Bradley, who invites Misty to leave her mother’s meager, overcrowded apartment to live with the Bradley family. What could Cindy provide Misty that her mother could not? In what ways does Misty connect with other maternal or supportive figures after she leaves the Bradleys?
4. Misty has a complex relationship with her mother: “I love my mother, but I’ve never really understood her.” Their relationship is taxed to the breaking point when Misty’s mother forces her to leave the Bradleys and return home. Eventually Misty withdraws her petition to become a legally emancipated minor that Cindy helped her request. Do you think this was entirely Misty’s decision? How did this painful process affect Misty’s dancing career? Her relationship with her mother?
5. Misty’s childhood was one of intermittent poverty and rootlessness. Her mother was continually running away from bad situations. How did this affect the way Misty dealt with obstacles later in life?
6. Consider Misty’s many experiences with prejudice. Her mother’s fourth husband, Robert, displayed a penchant for abusive racial epithets, and Misty finds bigotry pervasive even in the world of ballet, where she must often paint her face lighter for performances. To what degree do you think racism has affected Misty’s career as a dancer? What have her experiences taught her?
I can't wait to see your thoughts on these question! I"ll be sharing mine as well. Leave you responses in the comments.