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The Night Before Thirty

A Novel

By Tajuana Butler

Questions and Topics for Discussion

1. Catara remembers a time in her past when she felt beautiful and self-confident, What happened? She claims her weight is at fault, is she using it as an excuse?

2. Although winning the contest allows Catara, Lashawnda, Tanya, Alecia and Elise to escape for a weekend, each woman spends a lot of time thinking about her own past and future during the trip. Why is this? What is it about the weekend getaway that sparks this kind of thinking? What perspective do they gain about their lives?

3. Louisa asks each of the women to pick a question and share something about their own life to help everyone to get to know each other. Do their stories do more than this? What does each of the women learn from each other? About themselves?

4. Cicely helped turn Lashawnda’s life around by giving her the education and ambition she might never have developed on her own. Did Cicely use her? Is Lashawnda really confused about her sexuality?

5. Nearly all the women approach their thirtieth birthday feeling as if they are missing something. What do each of the women want? What is it about turning 30 that makes people re-evaluate their lives?

6. Although Alecia seems to have it all, does she? What is she looking for in her men? What does her relationship with her younger sister reveal about herself?

7. One of the themes of Night Before Thirty is finding the strength to believe in yourself and your ability to succeed. What do each of the women realize about themselves during the cruise? How do you think their lives will change?

8. Of all the women, Elise seems to have it all together. She doesn’t allow her disappointment with her athletic career to drive her away from gymnastics or into the arms of married man. Where does her strength and leadership come from? Why does she have such a hard time telling Allen how she really feels about him?

9. Tanya repeatedly involves herself with the wrong kind of men. Why? What effect did her experience with Steve have on her choices later on? Can her relationship with Chris succeed? Why does she want to move so badly?

10. What are some of the reasons Louisa chose each of the winners? How are the women alike? How are they different?

About TJ >

I founded Lavelle Publishing in 1997 with the release of my first poetry book, The Desires of A Woman: Poems Celebrating Womanhood. I was 26 years old. I published my second book Sorority Sisters in 1998. Sorority Sisters was picked up by Villard Books, a division of Random House and rereleased in 2000. Over 80,000 copies have been sold. So much has happened in my life since the release of my first books. I am thankful for the twist and turns that has been my journey. My life lessons have made me wiser, more grounded and more secure in who I am. One thing that I have realized is that not only do I love to write, but I like to express my writing through different genres. As you explore my site, you will see what I mean.

CONTACT >

E: connect@tjbutler.com

© 2017 by Tajuana TJ Butler-Jackson