This reading group guide for Mama Dearest by E. Lynn Harris includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
Yancey Harrington Braxton is trying to make a comeback. She’s a has-been singer/actress working with small theatre productions and even smaller budgets. Yancey has lost the status, but she hasn’t lost the attitude. Her world begins to change on the evening she meets a sexy stranger in Miami and when her mother Ava is released from prison on early parole. When that stranger helps Yancey get her own reality show and Ava starts wreaking havoc on her life, Yancey will have to decide between facing her past for real or for show. Questions for Discussion
1. When Yancey’s producer Cale begins to ask her about Madison she says: “I come from a long line of bad mothers and [that is] most likely the reason I was so afraid to be one myself.” What do you think the author is saying about the importance of mother/daughter relationships?
2. Describe the men in the novel. How do they interact with Ava and Yancey? What do the men in their lives tell us about their behavior?