1. Which character did you identify with the most:Virginia, Helen, Jean, or Rosa? What about her personality or her life did you relate to?
2. Which character underwent the greatest transformation over the course of the book? What events contributed to that change?
3. How did the historical events in the story act as catalysts for change in these women’s lives? Can you recall any historical events in your lifetime that affected your beliefs or your outlook on life? Have events such as 9/11 brought about changes in your life?
4. How have women’s roles changed in the past 25 years? The past 50 years? The past 100? Do you see World War II as a defining moment for women? Why or why not?
5. The four women’s personalities were all very different. What word would you use to describe each one? Which women grew the closest to each other? Why was that? Do you believe the four will remain friends after the war?
6. How did each woman’s faith change in the course of the novel? What events influenced her beliefs? How did they change? Which woman’s faith underwent the greatest change?
7. Each of the four women had a man (or men) in her life. Which man (Harold Mitchell, Jimmy Bernard, Meinhard Kesler, Dirk Voorhees, Wolter Voorhees, Russell Benson and Earl Seaborn) did you like the best? Why? Which one did you like the least? Did you change your mind about any of them as the story progressed?
8. Do you think that attitudes toward women have changed since the time when this story took place? In what ways? Have all of these changes been for the better?
9. One of the themes that emerged in the story was the destructive nature of racism. Which characters’ lives were impacted by prejudice? How? Did anyone’s biases change because of the events of the story?
10. Choose one character and tell what you think will become of her after the war.