1. Despite everything that happens between them, why do you think Frances and Rosalie’s friendship lasts? What makes for a lifelong friendship? Do you have a Rosalie in your life?
2. Frances is alone for much of the novel. In what way does being an unmarried woman around the turn of the last century affect her choices and opportunities?
3. Do you think Frances should have known why Ainslie is so distant? Should Ainslie have told her sooner?
4. So much of Frances’ life on Floreana is spent pretending and keeping secrets. Why is she so conflicted about this?
5. What draws Frances and Elke together? What do they have in common? Would they be friends anywhere else?
6. Frances and Rosalie have very different responses to their faith as they age. Why does Rosalie embrace her heritage while Frances leaves it behind?
7. Though Frances and Ainslie are not lovers in the traditional sense, they care for each other and need each other. Does that give love a different dimension or definition? Should Frances have stayed in her marriage? Why or why not?
8. How is life different for Frances after coming back from the islands?
9. Do you think Josef is good for Frances? Why or why not?
10. Why does Frances feel the need to tell her story at the end of her life?