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Truth Be Told

By Victoria Christopher Murray

Reading Group Guide

    Reading Group Guide
    1. The reader is introduced to Grace Monroe on the night of her winning campaign for City Councilwoman. During her acceptance speech, Grace tells her constituents that, "We're going to begin with ethics and morals" (page 3). Later in the novel, Grace's infidelity is revealed. How do you feel about Grace's personal "ethics and morals?"
    2. Grace's sister, Starlight, longs for Grace's approval and acceptance. Nevertheless, Grace remains very critical and judgmental of her sister calling her a liar and a fake. Discuss the sibling rivalry between Grace and Starlight. Is Grace jealous of Starlight's success? In what ways are Grace and Starlight alike?
    3. Lily, Grace's mother, chides Grace for not welcoming Starlight to her City Council win. She stresses that, "Family is the most important thing" (page 13). How is the importance of family handled throughout the novel? Discuss how Grace and her family must redefine their notions about family?
    4. Starlight is a motivational speaker who coaxes women "to rely on our power within" (page 79). Do you believe in Starlight's message? How genuine are her motivations?
    5. Lexington, Starlight's boyfriend and business manager, seems to be truly in love with Starlight. At the end of the novel, however, as Starlight's luck takes a turn for the worst, we see Lexington's truer feelings. Describe the nature of their relationship.
    6. Talk about religion and Christianity as prominent themes in Truth Be Told. At one point in the novel, the narrator explains that Grace "wasn't religious, although she'd tell anyone who'd listen that she was a Christian, serious in her love for God" (page 44). Explain the difference between being Christian and being religious.
    7. In Chapter 13, Starlight and Grace get a chance to express their thoughts about each other's beliefs. Starlight states that she teaches "the truth which is to rely on yourself and not on some force you cannot see" (page 152). Discuss the notion of truth versus faith.
    8. One of Grace's primary goals as City Council woman is to get a seat on the Education Committee so that she could lobby for school prayer. How do you feel about prayer in schools? Do you agree with the separation of church and state?
    9. Sara Spears, Grace's nemesis from the Anti Christian Coalition, remains hot on Grace's trail in search of the dirt. Grace decides that she must go public with the news of Conner's affair and his son, Solomon. Do you think her strategy is wise? How much does the public need to know about a politician's private life? Where does one draw the line?
    10. Both Grace and her teenaged daughter, Jayde, feel betrayed by Conner's hidden relationship with Pilar Cruise and the news of his son. How do you think you would have handled the situation? Betrayal and forgiveness are two themes that resonate throughout the novel. Discuss.
    11. In Chapter 44, Grace tells her sister-in-law, Devry, that she hates "the fact that my husband had sex with a white woman" (page 361). How is the issue of race handled in the book?
    12. In talking about Pilar's worsening condition, Lily says, "This is God's will" (page 381). What are your thoughts on self-determination versus the will of God?
    13. After the collapse of the balcony at Starlight's revival, "she closed her eyes and for the first time in a long time, she wished she could pray" (page 432). Describe Starlight's relationship with God. Do you think she is a hypocrite for seeking God only in a time of need? In what ways does hypocrisy appear in the novel?

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