6 reviews

Saving Cicadas
by Nicole Seitz

Published: 2009-12-01
Paperback : 314 pages
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Recommended to book clubs by 3 of 6 members
A novel of unconditional love and the freedom of letting go. When single mother Priscilla Lynn Macy learns she's having another child unexpectedly, she packs the family into the car to escape. Eight-year-old Janie and Rainey Dae, her seventeen-year-old sister with special needs, embark on the ...
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A novel of unconditional love and the freedom of letting go. When single mother Priscilla Lynn Macy learns she's having another child unexpectedly, she packs the family into the car to escape. Eight-year-old Janie and Rainey Dae, her seventeen-year-old sister with special needs, embark on the last family vacation they'll ever take with Poppy and Grandma Mona in the back seat. The trip seems aimless until Janie realizes they are searching for the father who left them years ago. When they can't find him, they make their way to Forest Pines, SC. Priscilla hasn't been to her family home in many years and finds it a mixed blessing of hope, buried secrets, and family ghosts. Through eyes of innocence, Janie learns the hard realities of life and the difficult choices grownups make. And she must face disturbing truths about the people she loves in order to carry them in the moments that matter most.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.


The Window

“Do you believe in…past lives?”

She’s waited a week to get the gumption to ask him, but now she’s second-guessing. Priscilla keeps her knees together and smoothes the flowers in her skirt. She pulls her hair to the right side of her head and stares at the big black book on his desk. “I mean, I know you don’t, but—” ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

The first line of the book is, “Do you believe in past lives?” Discuss this theme of “past lives” in Saving Cicadas. Who has them? What power do “past lives” play in the characters’ lives? What power do they have in our own lives?

Saving Cicadas is narrated by a child. Do you remember something you thought as a child that was incorrect? Do you remember the first time you learned a difficult truth? Janie and Rainey see the world in black and white, right or wrong. When do shades of gray begin to cloud our vision? Is it possible to view the world in black and white again? Should we?

What are the challenges Priscilla faces when she learns that she’s pregnant? How does she deal with the news?

Rainey has Down’s Syndrome. In what ways does this affect her character? Her future? How does it affect her family dynamics? What challenges do special needs children present? What blessings do they offer? Have you been touched in your own life by someone with Down’s Syndrome? In what way?

What are Priscilla’s choices regarding her pregnancy? Do you believe every woman has the right to choose? Does every woman face the same choices or are they weighted based on circumstance? How does making a poor choice affect future choices?

Do you know of someone who has faced an unplanned pregnancy? If so, what choice did she make? How did her choice affect her in the long run?

What is the most powerful scene in the book for you?

With which character do you most relate? Priscilla, Mona, Rainey, or Janie?

The Internet allows us access to all sorts of information. Do you think it can affect the choices we make? If you did not grow up with the Internet, do you feel you were as informed as are the youth of today? How might your life have been different?

What is Poppy’s role in this book? What about Grandma Mona’s? Why did she seem to change so much?

Discuss the character of Harlan. Though he’s gone, does he play an important part in the Macy family?

There is a theme of “ghosts” and being “spirit-filled” in Saving Cicadas. Discuss.

Why is it so hard for Priscilla to go back home to Forest Pines? Is it important for people to go back home? Why or why not?

Discuss the role of fear in this book. Who is fearful? Of what? Does fear affect the decisions the characters make? Is anyone courageous?

Who is the true heroine of this book? Does she get what she wants in the end?

Discuss faith or lack thereof as it relates to Fritz, Priscilla, Janie, and Rainey.

In the end, does Priscilla share her secret of the window? Why or why not?

Why do you think the title is Saving Cicadas? Is it possible to save cicadas? Who is attempting to save them?

Suggested by Members

Pro life vs Pro Choice
Life after death?
by GrandmaNaNa (see profile) 02/24/10

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

A note from author Nicole Seitz:

Dear Reader,

My brother stole a Baby Jesus from church one Christmas when he was little. My mother was mortified when she found Jesus in his pants pocket. She promptly taught him about stealing and right and wrong, and soon he, like all children, began to see the world in black and white—much differently than the shades of gray we grownups see.

I’m excited to share my fourth novel with you, SAVING CICADAS. You’ll fall in love with Rainey Dae Macy, a 17-year-old with special needs, who wants desperately for Baby Jesus to come to her house. Yes, she’ll even go so far as stealing. But it’s her 8-year-old sister, Janie, who narrates the book and steals the show.

When the girls’ single mother, a small-town pancake waitress, finds she’s pregnant again unexpectedly, they haul off on the last family vacation they’ll ever take—a journey of mixed blessings—of hope, buried secrets, and family ghosts.

“This story of one single mother’s struggle to survive will leave you awe-struck." — Beth Webb Hart, author of Grace at Low Tide

“What a deeply moving novel! I literally could not put it down…" — Fireside Books & Gifts

I hope you’ll have a hard time forgetting the Macy family. I know I will.

Book Club Recommendations

Read with an open mind
by GrandmaNaNa (see profile) 02/24/10
makes you value the people in your life and want to call your Mama and thank her for your own life.

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
  "Unpredictable and exciting!"by Lisa F. (see profile) 08/22/10

I won this book for our book club a while ago but my month to pick a book isn't until next January. Instead of holding on to it til then I gave it out at the June book club just as an extra read since... (read more)

  "Everyone in our book club LOVED this book and we are just your average, exceptional everyday women!"by Cari M. (see profile) 08/17/10

I am surprised at the previous reviews I just read here. These readers are terribly defensive about the subject matter. I didn't take it the way they did at all. As a matter of fact, I found that those... (read more)

  "I did not like it!"by Sandra V. (see profile) 03/03/10

I did not care for the highly Christian and anti abortion element in the book. I do not care for having religion thrown in my face and I do not feel that the author's emphatic anti abortion views should... (read more)

  "Unexpected subject matter"by Linda E. (see profile) 02/24/10

From the outset I could never imagine where the story would lead from the beginning; the ending took me the reader on an unexpected journey of discovery about a subject often taboo even in society today... (read more)

  "Saving Cicadas"by carol L. (see profile) 02/13/10

If I could have given it less than one star, I would have. I will not give this book to anyone, sell it at a garage sale or donate it to a book sale. The only thing worth doing with it is tearing it... (read more)

  "Saving Cicadas"by Mary Ann B. (see profile) 02/09/10

Nowhere in any description did it tell you what the book was really about.
Yes, there were surprises but I wish I had known what was coming.
This book had an overwhelming Christian elemen

... (read more)

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