The daughter of two Hollywood superstars, Divine Matthews-Hardison lives the privileged life most fifteen-year-olds only dream of: she's all about designer clothes, awards ceremonies, parties, and having a name that opens doors. Divine could be a model, an actress, anything she wants. But when you live in the spotlight, there's nowhere to hide when your family falls apart. Her father is in trouble with the law, her mother has her own demons, and no one has room for Divine -- no one except her uncle, a Georgia pastor with a modest country home and a big heart.
. . . but can Divine ever forgive?
Divine can't believe she's been sent to live with her mom's family in the sticks. Doing chores, getting an allowance, and church-going are hardly what she's used to, and she lets everyone -- from her patient Uncle Reed and Aunt Phoebe to her cousins, Alyssa and Chance -- know she's not trading in her Gucci bags for a feedbag any time soon. But as the love and faith of a good family take hold in her heart, miraculous changes start to occur. And when the chance comes to return to her high-flying life, Divine is faced with her toughest decision: Now that she's found the one thing she's never had, could she ever leave it behind?
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Reading Group Guide
1. How would you describe Divine at the beginning of the book? What details most clearly reveal her character?
2. Divine and Jerome have a complex relationship. Describe the different feelings Divine has toward her father at different points in the story.
3. After she has been in Temple for a while, even Divine notices that she is changing. "I'm not the same girl that left Pacific Palisades back in March. Thankfully, I'm still cute. Some things just never change." In what ways has Divine's personality altered and in what ways is she exactly the same?
4. Why do you think Divine is initially reluctant to sing in front of the church? Why does singing ultimately become so important to her?
5. Compare Reed and Phoebe's parenting style to Kara and Jerome's. What differences do you observe? Do you see any similarities?
6. After she is sentenced to eight months in rehab, Kara tells Divine, "I committed a crime...and I have to pay for it." While Kara seems to understand that her actions have consequences, learning this lesson is difficult for Divine. Describe a few of the episodes in which Divine struggles with taking responsibility for what she does. Does she ever learn this lesson?
7. What factors led to Divine joining the church? How does this decision affect her and those around her? Were you surprised by her choice?
8. Describe Divine and Alyssa's relationship. How does it change as the story progr see more