If you would like Erika to visit your book club in person or on Skype, contact her or her publicist:
Erika: erobuck (at) verizon (dot) net
Fiona Brown, Publicist:
Fiona (dot) Brown (at) us.penguingroup (dot) com
Photo by Catherine Pelura of KC Photography
Discussion Questions for
1. What did you most enjoy about Hemingway’s Girl? Did you make an emotional connection with the characters?
2. At 19, Mariella tends to run with a rough crowd, and she indulges in behavior--drinking, gambling, petty theft--that would not have been considered ladylike during this time. Yet she holds fast to her own standards. Discuss her “moral code” and compare it to the moral code that Hemingways and Gavin live by.
3. What do you think about Mariella’s conflicted feelings for Gavin and Hemingway? What are the differences and similarities in the way Mariella views each man?
4. Mariella accuses Hemingway of “collecting” people by using them in his stories. She argues that he is taking away their dignity and demands that he never use her as a character. Do you agree with her?
5. Pauline is frequently angry and jealous over Hemingway’s relationships with other women. Did you sympathize with her struggle to keep her husband’s affections? Do you agree with Pauline’s assertion that Hemingway’s “only true love is his writing”?
6. Hemingway tells Mariella that he envies her poverty, claiming that he was “happy and true” when he was poor and living in Paris. What does this suggest about his current life in Key West?
7. Mariella constantly struggles to balance her commitment to her family and the search for her own happiness. Do you respect her for trying? Do you think a contemporary women would make the same effort?
8. How did you feel about the treatment of WWI veterans at the Matecumbe work camps and the veterans’ propensity to drink and become violent? How does Hemingway’s Girl portray attitudes by the government and the general population towards veterans during the 1930s?
9. Had you heard of the Labor Day hurricane, and it’s tragic consequences, before reading this novel? Compare the authorities’ response to that devastating storm with the response of government officials to recent hurricanes and other natural disasters.
10. Have you ever read Ernest Hemingway’s novels? Which one is your favorite and why? If not, has this novel inspired you to read his work?