Book Clubs

Illuminating History’s Shadows Through Fiction
Illuminating History’s Shadows Through Fiction

Welcome to Book Clubs!

Book Clubs are such a great way to read a book…

Red Clay, Running Waters is a BIG Book with lots of meaty and timely topics to discuss. I’m happy to participate in virtual groups with prior arrangements.
Resources such as Discussion Questions, Character List Booklet, an abbreviated Bibliography and a Book Family Tree can be linked to or downloaded below.

Please contact me at if there are additional resources your group would like for their read of Red Clay, Running Waters.

Short Bibliography

Character List

Family Tree

Book Club Discussion Questions

Red Clay, Running Waters Book Club Discussion Questions

Author: Leslie K Simmons

  1. Discuss what you knew about Cherokee society and/or the Indian Removal Crisis before reading Red Clay, Running Waters. What surprised you about what you learned?
  2.  An American identity, as well as a national government began to take shape during the Antebellum Era (1815-1859). Do you now have a different understanding of that Era? What, if any parallels do you see to our own times?
  3. Given her Northern upbringing, Sarah faced a moral dilemma when she married into the slave-owning family. Discuss Sarah’s relationship with the enslaved people in the Ridge households and how you might deal with a similar moral conflict.
  4. Do you know any interracial couples? How are circumstances different today from what Sarah and John faced?
  5. Did the fact that women stepped out of their accepted ‘sphere of influence’ to became politically active in the Removal Crisis surprise you? What impact might their actions have had on future movements that touched on American character?
  6. What do you admire/dislike about the Ridges. Do you think their actions were justified?
  7. As the only means of mass public communication at the time, newspapers were key in the events in RCRW. Did the media of that day have a similar impact on public opinion?
  8. Some attitudes that formed the basis for removing the Native Americans are still being disputed. Could a similar forced removal of a population happen in the US today?
  9. What are your thoughts on the Supreme Court’s rulings on the status of Native Americans? Discuss the consequences if their ruling had been enforced.
  10. Education had a huge impact on American society during the Antebellum period. A thirst for Lecture Circuits. Newspapers, and Novels saw the birth of American Literature and Journalism. How was the power of reading used on both sides?