Suggested Questions for
LETTER FROM HOME by Carolyn Hart
1. What does this book reveal about manners and mores in a small town during WWII?
2. Lotte Pfizer meant the best in trying to help Clyde. Was her aim justified? What might have been the result if she hadn’t helped him hide?
3. How did the events of the summer of 1944 affect Gretchen?
4. Barb takes comfort in the hope and prayer that those who have died have forgiven those who wronged them. Can Barb now forgive herself?
(The following questions are courtesy of El Reno, OK., Carnegie Library Book Club)
5. Women, and especially teens, usually didn’t work for newspapers in the 1940’s. Why was Gretchen able to get the job?
6. How did the war affect the makeup of the staff of the Gazette?
7. Why would Gretchen return to the town after all those years?
8. Gretchen and Barb seem unlikely friends. How did their friendship come to be and was it the kind of friendship you think would exist?
9. How did you feel about Faye? Did she fit the stereotypical role of wife and mom of the 1940’s? How did the town view her?
10. Do you have memories of life during WWII, either first hand or from relatives?
11. Were you surprised to learn Barb was having the affair and not Faye? How could her mother not know? Was her ‘lover’s’ death a revenge of sorts?
12. Grandmother’s symptoms seemed obvious, how is it that they were ignored?
13. Gretchen’s mother met and married quickly. Why was that and how did Gretchen feel about it?
14. Gretchen liked a boy in her school. How did his reaction to Faye’s death change her feelings?
15. The author portrayed Barb as a tragic figure because of her upbringing. Discuss how that upbringing defined her life.
Thoughts from our book club group: The author made you feel the hot Oklahoma summer exactly as they remembered it from their childhood. She draws us into the lives of her characters and shows us the good and bad sides of human nature.