1.Assunta Mascaro, Stella’s mother was very religious. She believed in Jesus Christ and went to mass. When Assunta went into labor with her first child, the older women of Ievoli hung mint over her bed to ward off the Evil Eye. Why do you think that the women, who believed in God, also practiced things to ward off the Evil Eye? Is there a contradiction here? How do you explain it?
2. Of Stella’s many near deaths, which one did you like the most? Why?
3. When Stella got her period she thought she was going to die. She was very upset with her mother for not telling her about it before hand. Did you think Stella was right in being upset considering the sort of person she was with her near deaths? Was that the norm for that era not to inform your daughter?
4. Why was Antonio Fortuna so cruel? Was there a reasoning behind his abusive behavior, or was he just plain cruel?
5. Stella loved her mother Assunta. Do you think Stella loved her the most? What sort of relationship does Stella have with her mother?
6. Stella was always very close to her sister Tina until Stella came out of her coma. Why do you think they are very close? How did each sister regard each other?
7. Carmelo Maglieri eventually married Stella. He was very patient in waiting even though Stella kept refusing him for years. Do you think he was the right person for Stella? Why do you think Stella’s relationship with Carmelo change?
8. Who was your favorite character? Who was your least favorite character?
9. The book contained many themes, such as sisterhood, Italian immigration, abuse, secrets, marriage, love, American dreams etc., which theme impacted you the most? Why?
10. Which part of the book, good or bad, surprised you?
11. Stella had a tough relationship with her father Antonio since she was a little girl. The scene with where Antonio was naked in front of Stella and then he grabbed her private parts, may have scarred her for life. Do you think this abusive behavior was the precursor of Stella’s nightmare? Do you think Stella’s physical scarring turned into emotional scarring?
12. Why do you think Stella never wanted to talk to Tina after she woke up from her coma? Do you think it was a result of the coma or something that Stella genuinely believes? How does Tina responds to her sister’s rift?
13. What did you think of the ending? Was it what you expected?
14. Did you enjoy this book, and who would you recommend it to?
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