BKMT READING GUIDES

Gilded Summers
by Russo Morin Donna

Published: 2018-04-28T00:0
Paperback : 300 pages
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Pearl and Ginevra grow up in the era known as the Gilded Age in Newport, Rhode Island. One lives above the stairs, the other below.

Surrounded by Astors and Vanderbilts, Pearl fills her days with teatime and shallow friendships, yearning for something more. A chance meeting with Mary ...

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Introduction

Pearl and Ginevra grow up in the era known as the Gilded Age in Newport, Rhode Island. One lives above the stairs, the other below.

Surrounded by Astors and Vanderbilts, Pearl fills her days with teatime and shallow friendships, yearning for something more. A chance meeting with Mary Cassatt sparks her secret desire to be an artist. Meanwhile Ginevra, fresh off the boat from Italy, finds her own dreams out of reach as she joins the unwelcoming household as a servant and seamstress.

Kindred souls, the girls become fast friends but must keep their friendship hidden from Pearl’s controlling mother. Every summer, they meet in a hidden spot beneath the weeping beeches to talk of art and life, and their struggles to break the barriers of their lives.

Soon, the two young women must decide who they want to be in this world, and survive what it takes to get there…even if it includes murder.

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Excerpt

In that split second when the gunpowder bursts. . . the next second when the gun at the end of my hand blasts the room with light, jerking my arm back. . . in that time out of time, I cannot say whom I truly aim for. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

What was it about Pearl's life that made her want to be a 'new woman?' Is there more than one influence motivating her?

There are many 'ranks' of people discussed in Gilded Summers; what are they and which are the most surprising?

Ginevra's relationship with her father is not typical nor is it satisfying for her. How is it atypical and what could be the reasons for it?

Pearl reached out to befriend Ginevra from the moment Ginevra arrived at Pearl's home. What were the reasons why she did so and which were the most genuine?

The relationship between Pearl and Ginevra changes as they grow into full womanhood. Why did it change from both of their perspectives?

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