Discussion Questions

Leaving Lucy Pear

by Anna Solomon

  1. The book starts with an episode that gives the novel its title: leaving Lucy Pear. Over the course of the novel, Anna Solomon provides more information that gives context to Lucy Pear's origins and the people who play a role in that story. Does this later information change what you think about the choices made by Bea and by Emma in that moment? Were you surprised by the details of the story as it was revealed?
  2. Each chapter is written from the point of view of a different character. Does this structure of the book make it easier to empathize with characters and to understand their motivations? When does one character's chapter reinforce what has been written from another character's point of view? When does it challenge it?
  3. There are as many distinct relationships as there are characters in this novel, if not even more. How did these relationships change throughout? How did the slow unfolding of certain parts of the story shape one character's relation to another?
  4. As the story unfolds, we learn more about Bea's history with "the trouble" and "the episode," as her mother Lillian has put it. How does this indirect speak about events in Bea's history reflect her time and her relationship with her mother? How does it influence how she understands her own story? How does Solomon allow Bea's stories to be filled for the readers while still representing how the characters understand it? Was this challenging for you as a reader? Did you feel uncomfortable with this indirect talk about Bea's past?
  5. Solomon provided a particular historical setting for her novel–Glouchester, Masscahusetts, where she was born and raised–but also mentions real historical figures in the story, often in passing. Does this history enrich the book's strength as a story? How would you balance imaginative fiction with a realistic setting when writing about your own hometown?

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Discussion Questions." (Viewed on February 26, 2024) <http://jwa.org/node/24501>.