Barcelona CallingBarcelona Calling
Jane Kirkpatrick
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Jane Kirkpatrick invites you into the lives of five women friends who promise to help each other achieve their life goals. Annie Shaw's goal is far from simple: become famous. But she's in trouble after quitting her day job to write full-time. Her second novel tanked, and her new editor wants her to re-write the ending of her latest work to ensure this one is more successful. In order to pursue fame and an elusive bestseller, Annie travels to Chicago, acquires a rambunctious dog, and participates in antics better suited to a television reality show than real life. Can Annie's best friends help her achieve her goals without destroying her future?
     

 

 Barcelona Calling Discussion Questions: Jane Kirkpatrick


 
1. What did Annie desire? Did she know what she wanted in the beginning of the book? How did she come to recognize what truly mattered in her life or did she? Does fame lead to fulfillment?

 


2. Can you name a current desire in your life? What strategies are in place to move toward your goal? Is desire the longing for a past pleasure or does the Proverb 13:19 that Annie references, “Desire realized is sweet to the soul,” say it best? Did Annie find her sweetness to the soul?

 


3. “Honesty without sensitivity is just plain rude. A person can be rude, even to herself, you know.” What does Kari hope to accomplish by telling this to her cousin, Annie? Have you ever been rude to yourself, saying things you wouldn’t say even to your worst enemy? What kind of harm can that bring to our spirits? How did Annie’s lack of confidence affect her efforts to build a bestseller? Does the study Annie mentions about how praise for effort versus skill affected children’s grades speak to how we can encourage each other?

 


4. Annie says: “They’re my best friends. They’ve prayed and stayed with me through whines and dines. Maybe Bette’s right. Maybe this idea came as divine intervention just when I needed it to stop those harpies.” Do you have negative voices like harpies suggesting there are dreams you can’t pursue or shouldn’t? How do you silence them? How do your friends help you silence them? Do you think the ideas
to help Annie’s book become a bestseller were Divinely inspired? Why or why not?

 

5. Kari recounts a way to evaluate decisions using a clock face. Some decisions are really, really smart (at 12 o’clock) but some are really, really dumb (at 11:59). We can’t always know until we look back through time whether a decision was a wise one or not. Have you ever done something your
friends/family thought was 11:59 but it turned out to be a 12 o’clock? What made the difference?

 

6. Throughout the book Annie receives emails from reading fans. What did the emails say about Annie’s writing that Annie overlooked as she worked on her revisions for Irving? Was she writing the wrong kinds of books or was she truly with the wrong publisher?

 


7. How well did Annie deal with her ex-husband’s demands? Could having a clearer understanding of her desires have kept her from marrying him in the first place? Did she learn anything that helped her resolve her issues with Jaime? With Irving?

 

 

8. How well did Annie deal with Jaime’s request? Was she right in saying that if he changed for her — or vice versa — that when their marriage faced challenges they would not have the resources to sustain it? What do individuals need for accommodation to be healthy and not where someone gives up much of who they are to please the other?

 


9. Bette says that Annie’s friends will be like midwives working together against the “Pharaohs.” What does she mean? Do we all have pharaohs in our lives? Later Bette tells a woman that we should all be midwives, that “midwives start cheering for the mother long before the delivery.” How can we cheer our friends (or our own efforts) on long before the final goal is reached?

 


10. Annie mentions the phrase learned in Barcelona, Está Aquí: You are here. How does accepting that phrase help the characters in this story or does it? Do we need to know where we are before we can find our way to where we want to go next or where God wants to take us?

 


11. Who achieved fulfillment in this story? Are any of the characters not on their way toward building a happier more productive life? Does this book meet Annie’s criteria for a romance novel? Why or why not?


 

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