IT’S “A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN!”* when the bestselling authors of Sinners & Saints bring back their outrageous first ladies in this sassy, witty, and poignant sequel!
Now that Rachel Jackson Adams’s husband has won the coveted position of president of the American Baptist Coalition, Jasmine Larson Bush has concocted a scheme to one-up her rival—by promoting her new community center on the nation’s #1 television talk show! The power play won’t stop Rachel, who jets from Houston to Chicago to sabotage Jasmine’s TV appearance. But Chicago is the last place Rachel should be when one of the Coalition’s heaviest hitters turns up dead— and Rachel looks guilty as sin. Will her nemesis leave her stranded and let her take the rap? Or will Jasmine help Rachel hunt down a killer? Could danger this deep turn the enemies into BFFs? After all, miracles do happen. . . .
This reading group guide forFriends & Foesincludes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
First ladies—and first enemies—Jasmine Bush and Rachel Adams are together again in the sequel to Sinners & Saints by ReShonda Tate Billingsley and Victoria Christopher Murray. Spurred by jealousy, Rachel sets out for Chicago with the seemingly simple motive of preventing Jasmine from appearing on Oprah. However, Rachel’s scheming quickly lands her in a whole lot more trouble than she bargained for. As a plot full of twists, turns, and even murder unfolds, Jasmine and Rachel are forced to rely on and trust each other in order to save their lives. With a healthy dose of humor, Jasmine and Rachel discover they not only make a surprisingly good team, but good friends as well.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. Jasmine and Rachel go head-to-head with their schemes throughout Friends & Foes. Who do you think is the better schemer? Why?
2. Rachel and Jasmine seem to contradict at times with what one expects from a pastor’s wife. How are their actions reconciled with their beliefs?
3. What role do you think spirituality plays in each character’s life? What would you say is the difference between Rachel’s and Jasmine’s beliefs? What about Pastor Griffith’s?
4. In what ways are Rachel and Jasmine similar and in what ways are they different? Which of the two do you identify with most?
5. When exactly do you think Jasmine and Rachel started to feel that they could trust each other? When do you think they started becoming friends?
6. Do you think Rachel and Jasmine will remain friends, or will their old feelings toward each other take center stage again?
7. Why do you think Mae Frances had such a difficult time accepting Rachel? 8. Jasmine seems to look up to Mae Frances as a sort of godmother. In what way is Jasmine like Rachel’s godmother?
9. What do you think happened to Pastor Griffith and Yvette in the end? Should Jasmine and Rachel have left them in the Virgin Islands?
10. What other adventures would you like to see Rachel and Jasmine embark on together?
11. Humans are imperfect beings and possess natural flaws. What are Rachel’s and Jasmine’s flaws, and how do they play into the story?
12. Which friend would you trust in an adventure like the one Rachel and Jasmine have in Friends & Foes? Do you have a frenemy you think would make a good partner to go through this sort of ordeal with?
Enhance Your Book Club
1. Interested in the backstory of how Jasmine and Rachel became sworn rivals? Read the first book in the series, Sinners & Saints, for your next meeting. Discuss how the characters have evolved in Friends & Foes.
2. Have your book club over for an Oprah Winfrey– inspired pajama party. You can reminisce about your favorite shows and watch the OWN network while you celebrate your own “favorite things.”
3. For all the levity throughout the book, drugs provide a sobering backdrop for Friends & Foes. Organize a few hours for your book club to volunteer at a local church that has community outreach activities, such as working at a soup kitchen or helping out at a shelter.
ReShonda Tate Billingsley’s #1 national bestselling novels include Let the Church Say Amen, I Know I’ve Been Changed, and Say Amen, Again, winner of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. Her collaboration with Victoria Christopher Murray has produced four hit novels, Sinners & Saints, Friends & Foes, A Blessing & a Curse, and Fortune & Fame. BET released a movie in 2013 based on ReShonda’s book Let the Church Say Amen in which she had a minor role. She also had a role in the made-for-TV movie The Secret She Kept based on her book of the same title. Visit ReShondaTateBillingsley.com, meet the author on Facebook at ReShondaTateBillingsley, or follow her on Twitter @ReShondaT.
Victoria Christopher Murray is the author of more than twenty novels including: Greed; Envy;Lust;The Ex Files; Lady Jasmine; The Deal, the Dance, and the Devil; and Stand Your Ground, which was named a Library Journal Best Book of the Year. Winner of nine African American Literary Awards for Fiction and Author of the Year (Female), Murray is also a four-time NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Fiction. She splits her time between Los Angeles and Washington, DC. Visit her website at VictoriaChristopherMurray.com.
“Frenetic and deliciously slapstick sequel to Sinners & Saints…These frenemies [Rachel Jackson Adams and Jasmine Larson Bush] are drama queens at their best and smartest, a combination that will leave fans praying for their further misadventures.”