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Dancing on the Edge of the Roof: A Novel (the basis for the film Juanita) Reader’s Guide

By Sheila Williams

Dancing on the Edge of the Roof: A Novel (the basis for the film Juanita) by Sheila Williams

Dancing on the Edge of the Roof: A Novel (the basis for the film Juanita) Reader’s Guide

By Sheila Williams

Category: Women’s Fiction

READERS GUIDE

Contributed by Lori Bryant-Woolridge

Questions and Topics for Discussion

1. Juanita is a responsible mother, grandmother, sister and employee, yet her actions are ultimately irresponsible. Do you think her decision to simply ‘up and leave’ is justified? If you were in her situation could you do the same? Why or why not?

2. Juanita leaves in search of herself. Are her actions selfish or courageous? What separates one from the other?

3. Do you think it was realistic that a black woman from the projects of Ohio would be so readily accepted in a small town like Paper Moon?

4. What if anything do you think Juanita’s agoraphobia (fear of open spaces) represented?

5. Millie’s tells Juanita, "Your fears can paralyze you. Always, but always do what you’re afraid to do. You’ll be surprise how far it will take you." Do you find this to be sound advice? How much of a role do you think fear plays in decision making?

6. Juanita has never known love without possession. She’s always followed where her men led her. Do you think that this is typical of most relationships?

7. Books are the impetus for Juanita to take charge of her life and turn it around. What role, if any, do you think fiction plays in understanding ‘real’ life? Have you ever read a book that had a major impact on your life?

 
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