13. Though hunting and fishing figure into the story, the author takes no stand for or against these actions. Were you disappointed that the moral implications of hunting and/or fishing were ignored, or were you relieved that the story wasn’t used as a jumping-off point for a discussion on such a hot-button issue, or did it simply not cross your mind? What fiction have you read that dealt with a divisive issue such as hunting and/or gun control, and was it done in an effective manner?
14. As a child, Chloe wished she was Sam and Eugenie’s daughter. What needs did they fulfill in her? What needs did she fulfill in them?
15. How did you feel when you learned at the end of the story that Julian Ledet had lost his ability to smell and taste? Did that fate seem justified—or cruel? What could be the positive implications of such a sad situation?
16. In the story, Travis shares his thoughts about the character and nature of God with Chloe. Did you find her spiritual journey in this story believable? In the past,how had her relationship with her earthly father impacted her relationship with her heavenly father?
17. While in France, Jacques’ father talks of his son becoming a Master Goldsmith, but Jacques’ attitude about his lack of artistic talent is far more pragmatic. Later, in the New World, Jacques uses his metalworking skills to forge farming tools instead. Does this seem to be a more fitting occupation for him? How is this shift symbolic of the freedoms available to those who came to this country?
18. Jacques is very opinionated about the miserable state of New Orleans when he first arrives. Before reading this book, were you aware of the dubious nature of many of New Orleans’ earliest citizens, such as the high number of deported criminals, prostitutes, and the insane? How did those origins impact the evolution of the city and what it has become today?
Given the city’s issues, particularly after Katrina, why do you think people continue to live there?
19. As you read this book, did you learn anything new about Cajuns that you didn’t know before? If you read Mindy’s book Whispers of the Bayou, did the historical information from that book contribute to a deeper understanding of Cajun culture in this one?
20. Chloe remembers an incident with her father where she accidentally burned a roux. Why is this revisited in a different way at the very end of the novel, with Travis? Were you satisfied with that ending?