Hoopi Shoopi Donna

Hoopi Shoopi Donna

  • reading group guide
Growing up in a small New England town, 14 year-old Donna Milewski had all she needed: a grandmother, Babci, whose fragrant cooking filled their home...her mother, Helen, who lovingly stitched outfits...and Adam, the most wonderful father a daughter could imagine, who dreamed she could one day lead an all-girl polka band.

Then came Betty, a tiny and adorable five-year-old, sent from Poland by Adam's destitute brother. Bringing with her only a rubber doll's leg and her old-world charm, Betty became the little sister Donna never had -- and a threat to her father's love. During a long and painful rift, a dance of betrayal and hurt, Donna must look to her beloved polka music for the key to healing.
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  • Washington Square Press | 
  • 368 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451602678 | 
  • June 2010
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Reading Group Guide

We hope that the following information will spark a lively, informative discussion among members of your reading group and will enrich your enjoyment of the novel. You can also enhance the experience by cooking the delicious recipe for Pierogi below, one of Shea's Polish favorites. Pierogi
Pierogi dough:
3 cups flour
2 beaten eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp salt

Mix and let stand 20 minutes

Divide dough in half and roll thin. Cut circles with biscuit cutter. Place a small spoonful of filling a little to one side of each round of dough. Moisten edge with water, fold over and press edges together firmly. Be sure they are well sealed to prevent the filling from running out. Drop pierogi into salted boiling water. Cook gently for 3-5 minutes after they float to the top. Take out carefully with a perforated spoon. Serve pierogi with melted butter.
Cabbage filling:
1 small head cabbage
1 small onion, chopped fine
salt
pepper

Quarter cabbage and cook in boiling, salted water for 15 minutes. Drain, cool, and chop fine. Saute onion in butter, add chopped cabbage, salt and pepper to taste and continue to fry until the flavors blend. Cool. Stuff pierogi.
Reading Group Discussion Points
  1. Shea's two novels have been set in the Polish-American community, but readers from a variety of ethnic backgrounds are relating to her characters. What do you think are s
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About the Author

Suzanne Strempek Shea
Photo Credit:

Suzanne Strempek Shea

Suzanne Strempek Shea, winner of the 2000 New England Book Award for Fiction, is the author of the novels Selling the Lite of Heaven; Hoopi Shoopi Donna; Lily of the Valley; and Around Again; and the memoirs Songs from a Lead-Lined Room: Notes -- High and Low -- From My Journey Through Breast Cancer and Radiation; and Shelf Life: Romance, Mystery, Drama, and Other Page-Turning Adventures from a Year in a Bookstore. She lives in Bondsville, Massachusetts.

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