Book Club Questions
for Dorie LaValle

  1. How does Dorie change throughout the story?
  2. What do you think of Francesca’s fascination with the Saints? What does this mean?
  3. Is it Dorie’s fault that Louie becomes an alcoholic? What part does her business play in his downfall?
  4. This is a story of women’s friendships and commitment and responsibility. For most of Dorie’s life, she didn’t have strong bonds with women. What changes with meeting Lenny and then Francesca?
  5. If Dorie had birthed children with Louie, do you think that would have changed with the love that developed between her and Victor?
  6. Discuss the role of men living in Osseo: Steiner, Louie, Victor, Doc Pitzer.
    How do they feel about the women in their lives? Do they help them? Hurt them?
  7. The D’Agostino brothers: Sal and Geno. How might have Francesca better played her hand to take part in their business? Do you think she could have done anything to make them take her seriously?
  8. How does Victor change throughout the story? What kind of job do you think he might take after his release from prison?
  9. What do you think of the relationship between Lenny and Francesca? How do you think the town would have received them?
  10. What part does the winter season play in the book? How does it influence the story or the characters?

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