Run­ning Mates

September 1, 2023

In the quaint yet polit­i­cal­ly charged town of Edgar­town, North Car­oli­na, two worlds are about to col­lide. Meet Annabelle Morn­ingstar, an impas­sioned, quirky high school activist raised by her news anchor and sur­geon moth­ers, both cham­pi­ons of pro­gres­sive ideals. Across town, there’s Gabe Del­ga­do, the quin­tes­sen­tial all-Amer­i­can boy, mold­ed by his con­ser­v­a­tive, Cuban sen­a­tor father. Edgar­town is a town lit­er­al­ly divid­ed — the Lib­er­al East and the Con­ser­v­a­tive North coex­ist­ing as neigh­bors but rarely as friends. But what hap­pens when the two sides meet in the least like­ly of places: a local book­store? 

When employ­ees at Annabelle’s favorite lit­er­ary haven decide to union­ize, she finds her path unex­pect­ed­ly cross­ing with Gabe’s. And then they’re tossed togeth­er week­ly as they get spe­cial train­ing help for their beloved cross-coun­try com­pe­ti­tions. With their worlds thrown into dis­ar­ray, the two high school­ers must nav­i­gate their com­plex feel­ings for each oth­er while wrestling with their polar­ized upbring­ings. Can love bloom in the cross­fire of polit­i­cal discord?

Discussion Questions

Cour­tesy of Emi­ly Locker

  1. How is the set­ting of Edgar­town a micro­cosm for our larg­er soci­ety? Is it a real­is­tic set­ting that you could see exist­ing in Amer­i­ca today?
  2. Anna and Gabe are both very close to and iden­ti­fied with their strong-willed and suc­cess­ful par­ents. What enabled the pro­tag­o­nists to start sep­a­rat­ing their own views from their families’?
  3. Anna strug­gles with admit­ting to her friends that she doesn’t agree with them about the Book­court union­iza­tion con­tro­ver­sy. Why do you think this was so hard for her?
  4. What Jew­ish val­ues do you see in Anna’s fam­i­ly structure?
  5. Why was it so hard for Gabe to stand up to Scott’s anti-semi­tism, despite Gabe’s affec­tion for Anna?
  6. In what ways did char­ac­ters oth­er than Anna and Gabe come to appre­ci­ate nuances and see things as less black-and-white?
  7. In what ways are Anna’s par­ents actu­al­ly sim­i­lar to Gabe’s, despite their obvi­ous differences?
  8. How do sports help bridge social and polit­i­cal divides for Anna, Del, Zoe and Gabe?
  9. What impact did social media have on the polit­i­cal views of the Lib­er­al Liaisons and the North­siders? Did social media make it eas­i­er or hard­er to share infor­ma­tion? To change minds?