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Discussion Questions: The Wedding Pearls

1) Do you agree with Tessa’s decision to meet her biological family? Why or why not? Did your feelings change as the story progressed?

2) Do you believe nature or nurture played a bigger role in making Tessa the woman she is? What do you think Tessa learned from both her adoptive and her biological families?

3) Antiques represent the past in this story—whether it be wedding pearls, cream pitchers, or Mollybedamned herself. What role do you think the past plays in our present and in our future?

4) Branch tells Tessa that time is “nothing but arms spinning around a clock face”. What do you think this means? What impact does time have on our relationships with others?

5) Why do you think it is so hard for Tessa to embrace the possibility of love with Branch at first?

6) Tessa uses her diary to keep track of her feelings over the course of the story. Why do you think her mother insists she do this?

7) Do you agree with Frankie and Ivy’s decision not to tell Lola about their illnesses until the last moment? Or do you think they should’ve allowed her more time to adjust and grieve?

8) What are the key moments where we see Tessa grow and change as a person? What causes these changes?

9) Tessa worries that she has inherited a lack of maternal instinct from Lola and Frankie. Can you relate to this at all? What is something you inherited from your biological (or adoptive) family?

10) What do you imagine the future holds for Tessa, Branch, Lola and Melody?