21C copy

Thinking of choosing Sister Dear or Center of Gravity for your next book club meeting?

I would LOVE to participate in your discussion of Sister Dear or Center of Gravity via Skype/Google Hangout or FaceTime. (Or even in person depending on location!)

Please scroll down for Book Club discussion questions!


If you and your club would like a visit, please email me at laura@lauramcneill.com. I look forward to hearing from you, talking about the novel, and having some great conversation!


  • Laura is a popular workshop speaker, including writing craft, editing, blogging, marketing, agents, social media, and publishing
  • Writing focus – family drama/suspense set in the Deep South
  • Previous television anchor with six years of experience
  • Specialized TV reporter who focused on healthcare, including children’s issues, adoption, ADHD, depression, and medication
  • Laura has written extensively for Parents & Kids Magazine, 30 Day Books, Duolit, and The Write Life Magazine
  • Laura’s deftly drawn characters and moving story lines depict real families struggling with the complexities and challenges of ordinary life, raising robust themes for discussion
  • Laura holds a master’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University and is pursuing her PhD from the University of Alabama in Instructional Leadership.

Center Of Gravity Readers Guide

  1. Jack is infatuated with all things superhero. Is this a typical phase or an unconscious way of dealing with his mother’s death?
  1. Ava seemed happy in her role as a student counselor and planned on returning after Sam’s birth. Why does Mitchell send in her resignation to Mobile Prep?
  1. Graham, as an outsider from Birmingham, seems able to observe the town objectively. How does this help him and hurt him as Ava’s attorney?
  1. Dr. Bennett is assigned to evaluate the child custody dispute. Is it possible for anyone to remain completely neutral in a case like this one?
  1. Ava confesses to her mother that she and Mitchell are having marital problems. Why does her mother dismiss the conversation?
  1. Mobile is Ava’s hometown, yet she doesn’t receive much emotional support from many friends or former coworkers after Mitchell files for divorce. Why is that?
  1. Jack finds himself torn between loyalty to his father and love for a stepparent. Have you ever experienced this?
  1. Frank Carson is shocked to discover that his grandson believes that he is dead. Why didn’t he try harder to find Mitchell and Jack?
  1. Mitchell Carson is determined to keep in contact with Jack. What message do you imagine his letters contain?
  1. Sam is 4 years old when the novel ends. How will his father’s incarceration affect his emotional growth and development as a young adult?


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