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The Last Word Book Group Questions

The Last Word Book Group Questions (Google doc)


1.       Which character do you think got The Last Word in the book and why?
2.       Why do you think Lucinda Leavitt is obsessed with the serialized story, She Knew She Was Right; and in particular, Eurydice Emerson’s choice between her two suitors? Why is the power of choice so important to Lucinda?
3.       Who is your favorite character and why?
4.       Lucinda Leavitt and Persephone Merritt are fast friends. How are they similar to each other? How are they different? And how do they help each other?
5.       David Randall asks Lucinda Leavitt whether she would like to live in London or in the country. Which setting would you choose and why? What was your favorite setting in the book?
6.       Lucinda Leavitt compares herself to a doll several times in the story. How accurate do you think a doll represents how women were treated and perceived during the Victorian Era?
7.       Lucinda Leavitt struggles against societal norms and gender stereotypes that confine women from working in mathematics and business during the Victorian Era. Do similar gender stereotypes still exist today? In what ways is our society different?
8.       David Randall feels haunted by his late father’s lack of confidence in his business abilities and his father’s constant comparisons to his dead brother. How does that affect the choices David makes? How does that affect how he sees himself?
9.       Persephone Merritt tells Lucinda Leavitt: “Then stop caring what other people think. That’s the greatest cage of all. The only person’s opinion that matters is your own.” Do you agree? Are we caged by other’s perceptions of us?
10.   Mr. Leavitt tells his daughter, Lucinda, that all the decisions he made were for her benefit. Do you believe his motivations? Is he a good father?
11.   Lucinda Leavitt wants to know more about her late mother. How does knowing your past help you chart your future course?
12.   Forgiveness and allowing others to change is a theme in the novel. Should Lucinda Leavitt forgive Mrs. Randall for slighting both her and her mother for their lower-class origins?
13.   Which character do you think changes the most in the book and why?
14.   Do you think that the author Mrs. Smith was the heroine of her own story or a victim of circumstances?
15.   Did you like the ending of Eurydice Emerson’s story? Did you like the ending of Lucinda Leavitt’s story? Is there anything you would change if you were given The Last Word?
16.   How far would you go to discover the ending of a favorite book?

Study guide / book club / discussion questions

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