~ Can't Wait To Get To Heaven ~
Book Club Discussion Questions
Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven
Questions for Discussion
When Aunt Elner falls out of her fig tree, she embarks upon a journey
she never could have anticipated. Describe Elner’s surprising view of
heaven. How does it compare with your own idea of the afterlife, or the
conceptions held by various world cultures and religions? On a personal
note, what do you hope is waiting for you on the other side of the pearly
Elmwood Springs is a tightly knit community in which everyone seems to
know his neighbor’s business. For the Warrens, what are some of the
benefits of living in a small town? On the other hand, what are some of
the drawbacks? How does your own hometown compare with Elmood
Springs? Would you ever wish to move into Elner’s quirky
neighborhood? Why or why not?
Describe Norma and Macky’s relationship, and how their marriage grows
throughout the course of the novel. What bumps in the road have the
Warrens endured? What keeps their marriage strong?
On her ascent to heaven, Elner climbs a crystal staircase; meanwhile,
Ernest Koontz drives up to destiny in a brand new Cadillac convertible
with heated seats. Consider your own wildest fantasy about heaven; how
would you choose to arrive in style?
Norma and Tot’s long-standing friendship is challenged by Tot’s
persistent negativity. Do you, like Aunt Elner, naturally embrace a
positive outlook on life? Or, like Norma, do you strive, day by day, to
“replace a negative thought with a positive”? Or, like Tot, do you prefer
to “tell it like it is”? How does Norma choose to handle her differences
with Tot? And how do the two friends manage to reconcile in the end?
For Elner, meeting her hero, Thomas Edison, is a dream come true.
Which figures from history would top your own list of people you’d like to
meet in heaven?
What message does Raymond impart to Elner about the meaning of life,
and how does this view compare with your own beliefs?
If heaven allowed you to re-experience an episode, a place, or a time
from your past, like Aunt Elner’s trip fifty years back in time to Neighbor
Dorothy’s on First Avenue North, what scene or event would you choose
to revisit, and why?
Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven is as much a mystery as a comedy.
Do you think Elner truly died and went to heaven? What do members of
Elner’s family believe? Next, just what is the truth behind the strange golf
shoe? And what about Ida’s hidden family Bible? Finally, discuss the
mystery of Elner’s loaded gun; were you surprised at the truth behind the
Reading Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven is like taking an antidote to the
almost constant stream of bad news that surrounds us in our modern
world. Tot voices something we all feel: “I always try to put on a happy
face, but it’s getting harder and harder to keep up a good attitude…..
Nostradamus, CNN, all the papers, according to them, we are on the
brink of total annihilation at any second.” How did this novel make you
feel about the state of the world today?
Elner touched the lives of many people in her community, from the
ambitious journalist Cathy Calvert, to the troubled, misunderstood Luther
Griggs, to the reformed lawyer Winston Sprague.
How does Elner relate to so many different personalities? Describe Elner’
s character and attitude toward people, problems, and life. Do you know
anyone who shares Elner’s sensibility and talents for reaching out to
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