Who Does She Think She Is? is a richly evocative multigenerational story of three irrepressible women from the bestselling author of Good Hair and The Itch.
Aisha Branch is in the midst of planning her elaborate wedding to a White man from old-line wealth when the unthinkable happens—she falls for another man, hard. All the drama stirs up old feelings in her mother and grandmother, and as Aisha confronts a painful dilemma, the three Branch women take turns telling their own stories, reflecting separately on their lives and relationships. With her signature dry wit, quietly resonant insight and sharp yet compassionate eye, Benilde Little deftly explores one family’s expectations, anxieties, and abiding love.
Reading Group Guide for Who Does She Think She Is? 1) What are the main generational differences between Aisha, Camille and Geneva? How do these differences manifest in each woman? 2) Discuss the men in the novel. How do they differ from generation to generation? How does race affect the men in the novel, and how the women perceive them? 3) What do you think first attracts Aisha to Will and vice versa? What is the main reason Aisha agrees to marry Will, and how does her perception of him change throughout the novel? 4) Both Geneva and Camille have different views on how to raise children. What are their main differences of opinion? Which views do you relate to the most and why? 5) Discuss Miles and Aisha's relationship. Why do you think their initial attraction is so strong? What is the overall effect of their significant age difference? Do you think their relationship is a strong one? Why or why not? 6) Abby and Geneva are from roughly the same generation--they are only 10 years apart in age--but they have very different perceptions and opinions of the world. Compare and contrast their characters. Why do you think Geneva is at first reluctant to accept Abby into her life, in sharp contrast with both Aisha and Camille? 7) Describe Aisha and Cedra's friendship. How do their personalities differ? Why do you think they begin to grow apart? 8) What prompts Geneva to reconcile her relationship with both M.J. and Camille? What was the reason for the emotional distance between herself and her children? How much of this estrangement was a result of generational differences and how much was more personal? 9) For much of the novel, Aisha finds herself dissatisfied with her work while, in contrast, Camille is very fulfilled by her line of work. How do their professions give these characters a sense of identity? What do their professions say about their personalities? What does Aisha's drastic career change from fashion magazines to charity work signify? 10) How are the three main characters most changed throughout the novel? Do you identify with Geneva, Camille or Aisha? Why? Where do you envision these women in the future?
Benilde Little is the bestselling author of the novels Good Hair (selected as one of the ten best books of 1996 by the Los Angeles Times), The Itch, Acting Out, and Who Does She Think She Is? A former reporter for People and senior editor at Essence, she lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with her husband and son. Her daughter is away at college. Follower her on Twitter and Instagram @BenildeLittle and read her blog, Welcome to My Breakdown, at BenildeLittle.Wordpress.com.
"A diverting story about race, identity, and family ties." -- People
"Fans of the author's novels will enjoy Little's perceptive take on Buppies in love." -- Essence
"The tightly written story moves quickly and the supporting characters are wonderfully realistic." -- The Philadelphia Inquirer
"A refreshingly different kind of contemporary romance." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Little strikes a nice balance between heartfelt intergenerational saga and sexy love story." -- Publishers Weekly
"Little strikes the perfect balance between froth and thoughtful commentary on racial and class issues. Little has the guts to drop plenty of tough questions at the heart of what is an enjoyable romantic romp." -- The Miami Herald