She Writes Press, 9781631529290
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
Sara’s story is one of loyalty, loss, love and redemption. What particular character traits do you most admire in her? How do her life experiences from age seventeen to nineteen transform her from an “impetuous, headstrong girl” to a “mature woman”?
How does the author use the various settings—Sara’s family vineyard in Vouvray, the convent, the slums of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and ultimately the rolling hills and sprawling vineyards of Napa—to accentuate Sara’s emotional journey?
Sara and Lydia are like “two sides of a coin, one minted for pageantry, the other for practicality.” As the story progresses, what do the sisters learn from each other?
Is Marguerite Thibault a failure as a mother? If so, what do you think motivates her choices?
Consider Sara’s quest to secure her place in the winemaking world, and the changing expectations for women in the late 1800s. As a man, does Philippe face changing expectations as well?
Bastien and Philippe’s personalities differ dramatically, even though they are brothers, and were raised by the same parents. Where does their difference in character stem from?
Objects play meaningful roles in this story. What values or sentiments are attached to Sara’s claret-colored shawl, Papa’s boots, Sara’s wooden cross and Maman’s Bible, for example?
Which secondary characters (Jacques, Bastien, Papa, Maman, Marie, Luc, Reverend Mother, the nuns, Aurora, the Chinese, Lamont, Linnette, etc.) influence Sara or Philippe the most? Why?
If you could sit down and chat with one of the characters over drinks, whom would you choose?
Which scene(s) from the novel do you find most memorable?
Now that you’ve finished reading The Vintner’s Daughter, what are your expectations for its sequel?