by Jennifer S. Brown
- Dottie and Rose both have strong opinions about what it means to be a woman, a mother, and a wife. What are some of those ideas? Which do you agree or disagree with?
- How does pregnancy change the situations and perspectives of Dottie and Rose? What implications do their decisions about those pregnancies have for their lives? What do you think about the view of abortion presented in the book?
- Both Rose and Dottie have held positions of power in the world outside the home. How has this shaped their sense of self?
- As with many mother-daughter relationships, Dottie and Rose have an intense bond. The author’s method of alternating narrators helps illustrate both the inner and outer dialogue. How does this technique illuminate their complex, changing, relationship?
- Traditions—keeping kosher, lighting Shabbes candles, having a chuppah at her wedding—are important to Dottie, and she can’t imagine her life without them. What traditions would you have a hard time breaking? What is your relationship to the values behind those traditions?
- Abe and Wille stand in stark contrast as suitors for Dottie. How do the portrayals of male characters stand up to those of female characters in the book?