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Discussion questions for book clubs





    1. Why does a scallop shell continue to reappear? What do you think it symbolizes?

    2. What do each of the three women—Joan, Maggie, and Tempie—bring to the grDark Enough to See the Stars in a Jamestown Sky by Connie Lapallo copyright 2011oup which helped some of them survive?

    3. Do you think Elizabeth Mayhew was right—that it would be better to die than to live through the winter of James Town’s Starving Time?

    4. Connie believes she awoke one wintry January day to the sound of Joan’s voice dictating a chapter to her. This chapter, “Like Wind I Go,” was not in Connie’s original plan for the book. Although Connie had already completed that section, she decided to add the new chapter. Do you believe characters can talk to a writer? If you believe they can, was it the character Joan, the real Joan, or someone else who spoke to her that morning?

    5. Do you think “Like Wind I Go” adds anything to the story that may have been missing without it?

    6. How do you think old Grace knew that Joan was planning to give her less food since her back was turned to Joan? Do you believe there might be something mystical about her, or did she simply guess?

    7. What did Joan learn from the Paspahegh queen?

    8. Do you believe it’s true, as Annie Laydon said, that “the men folk fight and the women folk bear the brunt”?

    9. The typical characterization of Jamestown’s Starving Time is that the settlers were too lazy to plant corn or hunt deer, that they preferred to starve. Do you believe this is a fair portrayal of the reasons for the Starving Time?

    10. If you were in Jamestown, would you leave, never to return, at the first opportunity? Or would you stay so that your time and money invested would amount to something? (No one was allowed to go home until 1617, six years after the ending of this novel.)



    1. Do you think Joan and Will did the right thing in leaving Cecily behind?When the Moon Has No More Silver by Connie Lapallo copyright 2011

    2. What did Tempie suggest to Joan that helped Joan cope with the difficulties of being pregnant amidst poverty, hunger, and a military regime? Did it work? Why?

    3. How would you feel if your daughter were to be married at fourteen and a mother at fifteen? Could you accept it?

    4. Should Tempie have told Joan the truth about why she was leaving?

    5. Was George Yeardley a good choice for governor? Why or why not?

    6. Who were some of the other women in the book who made sacrifices for Virginia? What did they sacrifice?

    7. Why do you think comets were so frightening to the people in all cultures during the 17th century?

    8. What things do you think Angelo felt upon entering Joan’s home?

    9. What does Joan learn, throughout this period of her life, about acceptance?

    10. Do you believe, as Joan comes to believe, that those we love stay nearby and watch over us?









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