Reader's Guide

A Year on Ladybug Farm by Donna Ball

1. Bridget, Cici and Lindsay have been best friends for most of their adult lives, and
believe that the years they’ve spent vacationing with each other will prepare them for
setting up housekeeping together. Have you ever had a friend you vacationed with?
Did that strengthen or weaken your relationship? Would you consider living with that

2.When the ladies sell their suburban houses, they realize that one of the biggest
challenges will be consolidating their accumulated possessions into one new
household. How to you think they went about making the decision about what to
bring to their new home? How would you do it?

3.Bridget’s children have strong objections to her decision to partner with Lindsay
and Cici in buying the house. Do you think their motives are selfish, or born of a
genuine concern for their mother? Were you surprised by Bridget’s strength in
resisting their effort to dissuade her?

4. Why do you think, if the women were so passionate about the house, they agreed
to revisit their decision to stay in a year? Was there a part of each of them that
wasn’t entirely sure their plan would work? If so, what were they afraid of?

5. Each woman had a specific goal in mind for herself when they set out on the
adventure: Bridget wanted to cook, Cici wanted to build things, and Lindsay wanted
to be an artist. To what extent did they achieve their dreams? To what extent did
their dreams change?

6. Despite their many set-backs, the three women remain strong in their friendship
and never seriously fight. How realistic do you think this is? What kinds of issues
might they have had to deal with that the reader is never told about in order to
maintain a harmonious household?

7. The author uses humor throughout the book to lighten what could have been a very
grim struggle. What are some of your favorite humorous scenes? At what point
does the absence of humor signal a change in the ladies’ lives, and how does this
alter the tone of the book?

8. A Year on Ladybug Farm can be viewed as a series of front-porch philosophies
that are illustrated by scenes from the ladies’ everyday lives. In what way can you
trace the growth of each character from the conversations they have when they meet
on the porch each evening? How well do you think these conversations capture the
way that women view life in general? Do you have a favorite “front porch moment”
from the book?

9.How did you feel about the ladies’ decision not to turn Noah in to Social Services?
Do you think they did they right thing by allowing him to continue to camp out on their
property while pretending not to know what he was doing?

10. How does Ida Mae’s presence disrupt the household, and why? Why do you
think Ida Mae allowed herself to be “discovered” when she did? Did the women go
above and beyond the call of duty by allowing her stay, or were they being a little
selfish as well?

11.The theme of A Year on Ladybug Farm is “families come in all shapes and
sizes”. Cici, Bridget and Lindsay started out as three women alone who ended up
becoming a family; by the end of the book that family has increased by three– Ida
Mae, Lori, and Noah. How do you think this will change the household?

12. What are some of the things that define a family? In what way do Cici, Bridget
and Lindsay illustrate these principles?

13. In what way does the fantasy of doing what Cici, Lindsay and Bridget did appeal
to you?

  © 2008 'Ladybird' by

Back to TOP