READER'S STUDY QUESTIONS
With Southern hospitality, Joan Medlicott has welcomed the world into the lives of Grace, Hannah, and Amelia, three widows sharing a house, a garden, and some amazing recipes in the little town of Covington. Through their love, commitment, and laughter, the ladies of Covington have come to represent the beauty of friendship.
Ladies of Covington Send Their Love
When Grace, Hannah, and Amelia meet in a Pennsylvania boardinghouse, they believe that three meals a day and a sagging bed are all their twilight years have to offer. But friendship takes them on a journey to a North Carolina farmhouse where they realize their lives still have more to give: confidence, competence, and love.
Gardens of Covington
The ladies return with new friends and neighbors in this enchanting second chapter of their lives in Covington. While Hannah battles to save Loring Valley from developers and Grace proves she has a head for business by opening the Cottage Tearoom, Amelia embarks on the frightening and exciting journey of newfound love.
the Heart of Covington
In their white farmhouse, Hannah, Grace, and Amelia try to surround themselves with love, friendship, and hope. But their joy screeches to a sudden halt when they discover that their neighbor and friend Harold is very ill. Trouble strikes again when Hannah's daughter is involved in a tragic car accident that has serious consequences for all concerned.
Spirit of Covington
Already having captured readers’ hearts and minds in three critically acclaimed books, the irrepressible ladies of Covington take on an even greater level of emotional complexity as they cope with the shock of a fire that destroys the home of Grace, Hannah and Amelia. Devastated, each grieves and copes in her own unique manner and in the process sow seeds of courage and community that flourish within this small mountain town.
When Grace, Hannah, and Amelia lose their home and nearly all their
possessions in the fire, each reacts and grieves in a different
way. With which lady did you most identify and why?
2. What was your reaction to Max’s proposal to Hannah? Put yourself in Hannah’s shoes. How would you feel? What would you do if you were Hannah?
3. Does Grace overreact to Lucy’s situation? How would you have handled it?
4. Grace has a non-traditional relationship with Bob. She is committed to Hannah and Amelia and their home
a. how do you feel about Grace’s ongoing conflict between her own interests and Bob’s continual pressure to move in with him? Would you be more inclined to do so after Bob’s heart attack? Why? or Why not?
b. can you understand Grace’s reaction to living with Bob after the other ladies move to their new farmhouse?
5. With letters coming from women around the country asking for help in finding and sharing a home with other women, how do you feel about the way the ladies finally responded?
a. would you have handled it differently?
if so, what would you have done?
Joan Medlicott, In Her Own Words
The ladies of Covington arrived one evening when I was soaking in my bathtub. First the concept, then bits and pieces of dialogue, then portions of the plot. I saw their faces, the color of their hair and eyes, and understood the differences in their personalities, their experiences and their values. The novel unfolded. There were days when I sat at my computer, uncertain of the plot, and the words would just pour out. And so, at age 66, I began to write my first novel, The Ladies of Covington Send Their Love. Increasingly, it became important to write about those things that women care about, building a strong self image, creating intimate and meaningful relationships, and belonging to a family, no matter how 'family' is defined. And there are themes that run from book to book in my Covington novels, themes that are important in my own life. As the ladies of Covington prevail over their fears and insecurities, they stand out as beacons of possibility for growth, change, and a rich and meaningful life, no matter what age.
Praise for the Novels of Joan Medlicott:
"The ladies of Covington sow seeds of courage and community that bloom throughout this small mountain town and deep in the heart of every reader."
"Ms. Medlicott is attuned to the nuances of Southern life and draws her characters with affectionate understanding....and an inspiring message of self-acceptance, courage, and survival."
"A satisfying, warmhearted look at friendship that endures."
"A must read for women of all ages."