Rich in resonant, universal themes, and richly evocative of its historic setting, Bianca Pitzorno’s The Seamstress of Sardinia immediately struck us as a wonderful book to recommend for book club discussions.
A recent LoveReading Star book, its smoothly readable style (kudos to Brigid Maher who translated it from the original Italian), The Seamstress of Sardinia tells a spellbinding story of love and resilience through class and gender inequalities.
Without further ado, here are some questions to get your book club discussions going. We hope you enjoy The Seamstress of Sardinia as much as we did…
1. Summarise the themes of The Seamstress of Sardinia.
2. Discuss the different representations of love and kindness in the novel, and representations of injustice and unkindness. On balance, does the seamstress’ story reflect well on human nature? Does hope overshadow tragedy and inequity?
3. What does the novel reveal about the institution of marriage? Compare and contrast different marital relationships in the novel.
4. To what extent is The Seamstress of Sardinia a love story?
5. Discuss how the female characters variously deal with the roles and behaviours assigned to them by society.
6. “We poor people need to help each other out… because if we wait for the rich to come to our aid in times of need, we’ll be in trouble.”
“Life had taught me to respect the rich, whatever their age, character or actions. Being rich made them stronger than us, capable of crush us, destroying us with a lick of their fingers… We always had to be respectful around them.”
Do you agree with these statements? How are they borne out in the novel? Do they resonate today?
7. Discuss the novel’s portrayal of intergenerational relationships.
8. What did you think of the structure of the novel?
9. What did you think of the translation? Were you ever especially aware it was translated?
10. What did you think of the writing style? Did it grip you? Did it move you?
11. How did you feel after finishing the novel? What did you learn from reading it? Do you want to read more of the author’s work?