Shoeless Joe Book Club Discussion – Day 2

Shoeless Joe Book Club Discussion – Day 2

Welcome back to our book club discussion of Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kineslla. Today’s discussion questions are:

“If you build it, he will come”

Ray shows a great deal of faith in obeying the voice and creating his baseball field, especially with all of the cost and effort involved. And then later on he steps out on faith even further when he travels across the country to kidnap J.D. Salinger. Considering that Ray is not a religious man, why do you think he obeys his visions?

Have you ever taken a similar leap of faith and done something that other people thought was risky or crazy? If so, how did it work out for you. If not, would you like to?

When Ray tells Annie about his visions and his desire to build a ballpark in their cornfield, she replies “Oh love, if it makes you happy you should do it.” Have you ever had someone in your life that is as supportive of you as Annie is of Ray? And if you had a significant other come to you with a crazy story like this, would you be able to be as completely supportive as Annie was?

Let us know what you think by leaving a comment here or weighing in over on the CSLJ Facebook Page.

Want to catch up on commenting or see what other book club members had to say? Click here to see our full discussion so far.

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5 Responses to Shoeless Joe Book Club Discussion – Day 2

  1. To be honest, I really don’t know how Ray is able to accept his visions and take on this big, beautiful, crazy job that the voice was telling him to do. He’s sort of a modern Noah in that way. When you consider the time, the work, the fact that he was carving away from an already not-sufficient income by mowing down part of his corn-field… when you think of how much he loves his land and his home and his little piece of heaven, it was a huge thing to gamble with. I want to say that I would be as willing to take a chance like that but I’ve always been pretty conservative. The biggest risk I ever took was starting C. S. Literary Jewelry. It’s really crazy to start your own business (especially in this economy) and every day, I feel a little bit like Ray does when he realizes that it’s a matter of time before the whole thing crashes. And I am not even sure I would have taken the leap if I hadn’t gotten laid off from my 9-5 job during a recession when there weren’t any other jobs to be had. Like I said, I wish I was the type of person to go building baseball fields in the corn but I just don’t see myself that way.

    As for Annie, I envy her ability to believe in her husband so fully. When I first got married, I would have thought that standing by your man no matter what was just what you do. No question. But after nearly 16 years of marriage, and especially after the past couple of years, I found that it takes a lot of effort and struggle to be ok with anything that makes your partner happy when so much of your life is wrapped up in theirs. When I think that Annie could have lost her home over all of Ray’s visions, I am in awe of how effortlessly and completely she had Ray’s back.

  2. I definitely identify with Annie more then I do Ray. I feel like if I were in the same position I would be more supportive then to be willing to do such a huge leap in faith that everything would turn out ok. I think it would have been interesting if Ray’s task had been with something he didn’t love like baseball. “Annie I know this sounds crazy but I have to cut down our corn field and make a polo field, I know Annie I know I’ve never even seen a polo game but this is what the voice told me to do.”

    • LOL Leslie. Can you imagine the mess polo ponies would make of a corn field?!

      I was talking to my hubby about all the crazy things that Ray tells Annie that he wants to do and I was fixating on the whole “I’m going to go kidnap J.D. Salinger and take him out to a ballgame. Keep your fingers crossed I don’t get arrested and go to jail, honey” thing. Rob pointed out that by the time Ray had that assignment from the voice, Annie had already experienced watching Shoeless Joe and the other players playing ball on the field so at least she knew something special was happening. But that first “if it makes you happy, you should do it” was pretty amazing when you think about it!

      • Sounds like Rob and I were thinking on the same wavelength, I had been about to bring that up too but then I remembered she already had witnessed the miracles happening.

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