Reading Guide Questions
Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
Set in contemporary New York, with flashbacks to Nazi-occupied Holland, The
is the heartrending story of an old man taking his last
chance and struggling toward an elusive redemption and the even more distant
hope of love. In pitch-perfect and elegant prose, Dressler weaves a moving story
about WWII and its aftermath that is truly different from any other, telling a
deeply compassionate story about crippling guilt and the enduring, and very
human, hope for love and forgiveness.
- Loss ripples through this novel. How, in the end, does loss create its
- History has a force all its own in this novel. Would you say Tristan has
free will or is he trapped by forces beyond his control?
- In this novel, religion and religious beliefs often have negative
associations. Is religion or religious belief also a positive thing? Is the
author asking where redemption and forgiveness come from?
- How does the theme of difference/being different work in this novel? How
about the theme of connecting?
- This novel deals with what cripples bodies and hearts. How are Tristan and
Sandor's situations parallel or different? What does Dressler seem to
suggest is most crippling? What does she offer as a balm?
- In some ways, this is a novel about academia. How does it present the
- Is this a love story?
- Craft is as important to this novel as the plotas is
often true for books. But why is this especially the case here?
- Cora wants the table to serve as a reminder and warning. In the end, has
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