Dicsussion Question for Norma Watkins’ The Last Resort: Taking the Mississippi Cure
1. A memoir’s success depends upon the honesty of its author. Was Norma someone you trusted to tell you the truth about her life? Why or why not?
2. Does including the periods of her life where she behaved in an ugly manner make you more or less inclined to trust her?
3. Discuss Norma’s experience as a privileged white child being raised in segregated Mississippi. What is her relationship with Marie, Parthenia, and the rest of the staff at home and at Allison’s Wells?
4. Discuss Norma’s parents’ relationship. Was Norma’s mother being selfish to demand that her husband remain with her, or was she a product of her time? How would you react if your spouse closed his eyes while eating dinner in order to exist somewhere else in his mind? Discuss how Norma’s mother changes from the beginning of the book to the end.
5. Were you surprised by Norma’s decision near the end of the book? Were you disappointed by her choice not to stay if not with Fred, at least near her children? How does Norma’s relationship with Fred compare to her parents’ relationship?
6. The author is available to make appointments to speak to book clubs by phone by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org