1. How is Margie similar to her grand daughter Madeleine? What did they both want?
2. The book is written with Madeleine viewpoint in 1999 and what happened to her grandmother Margie in 1924. Did you enjoy the back and forth between the two stories in the book? Which story interested you more?
3. “How is it possible things that are important to us when we are young somehow fade away?“
Do you think that Madeleine’s dreams was crushed by her parents? Or do you think that Madeleine let her dreams slip away?
4. The setting of the book was mainly Paris and Magnolia, Madeleine’s home town. What was the attraction to Paris? What did Paris represent to Margie? How did Paris become significant to Madeleine? Have you been to Paris? Would you like to after reading about it?
5. Both Margie and Madeleine were debutantes. Do you think that the concept of debutantes old fashion? How has the concept changed and is it applicable these days?
6. Margie and Madeleine were from wealthy families. They both lived a sheltered lives but wanted their independence. Do you think that they were prepared for the real world? How are their stories similar?
7. Why do you think that Madeleine stayed married to Philip so long? Did you think they were suitable for each other?
8. How does Madeleine change as we progressed through the book? What was the turning point?
9. Do you think Madeleine is a weak person? Why and why not?
10. What is Madeleine’s relationship with her mother Simone like? Do you think that Margie had similar relationship with her mother? What are the similarities in each relationship? How do they differ?
11. “Maybe everyone needs a room of one’s own where there are no expectations, and no compromises, and you can be the person you know yourself to be.”
Madeleine gets her room to paint at the end. Do you agree with the quote? What does the room for Madeleine signify?
12. There were many themes in the book. One main theme was living one’s dreams. What did you learn from Margie and Madeleine’s stories? What was the author’s message?
13. Were you surprised with the twist in the ending?
14. After reading the book, who would you recommend it to?
Enhance Your Book Club:
Enjoy some french cheeses (Camembert, Brie, Roque Fort) with some fresh baguette and perhaps some french wine!
Browse some Impressionism through Monet’s paintings.