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Archer Book Club: February 2022

Welcome to the Archer Book Club, or the ABC!

Selection Of The Month

From the Publisher:

"One of the most prominent voices of her generation debuts with an extraordinarily powerful memoir: the story of a childhood defined by the looming absence of her incarcerated father.

Through poverty, adolescence, and a fraught relationship with her mother, Ashley C. Ford wishes she could turn to her father for hope and encouragement. There are just a few problems: he’s in prison, and she doesn’t know what he did to end up there. She doesn’t know how to deal with the incessant worries that keep her up at night, or how to handle the changes in her body that draw unwanted attention from men. In her search for unconditional love, Ashley begins dating a boy her mother hates. When the relationship turns sour, he assaults her. Still reeling from the rape, which she keeps secret from her family, Ashley desperately searches for meaning in the chaos. Then, her grandmother reveals the truth about her father’s incarceration . . . and Ashley’s entire world is turned upside down.

Somebody’s Daughter steps into the world of growing up a poor Black girl in Indiana with a family fragmented by incarceration, exploring how isolating and complex such a childhood can be. As Ashley battles her body and her environment, she embarks on a powerful journey to find the threads between who she is and what she was born into, and the complicated familial love that often binds them."

Zoom Meeting Information

Zoom information (and possible hybrid meeting details) will be provided closer to the planned meeting: 12:00pm-1:00pm, February 16, 2022.

Discussion Points

These questions and similar will be discussed (suggested questions from:

So much of the [book] revolves around the way our childhoods have lasting effects on who we are as adults. Could you relate to any of Ashley’s experiences?

How does Ashley’s relationship with her mother and father differ from yours? How does it compare?

Discuss the ways in which Ashley handles (or struggles to handle) fulfilling the various roles she must play as a daughter, granddaughter, sister, partner, friend … How does she balance these roles with developing and maintaining her own identity? Does she succeed?

In chapter 7, we hear a powerful anecdote about garden snakes and their inclination to stick together when faced with danger. How does this scene present itself as a theme throughout the [book]?

Further Reading and Materials

The novel is available at the usual retailers, and in multiple formats at the Regina Public Library.