1. Let’s talk about the time and setting of the book. Does it resonate with you? If so, share some memories of those days.
2. Children are not allowed the same freedom today as they were back in the fifties and sixties. As in all things, there are positives and negatives. Can you think of a few?
3. Much of what Sally and Troo learn is gleaned from eavesdropping and gossip. Communication between adults and children has dramatically changed over the past fifty years. Discuss how it was back then versus now.
4. Do you think Troo knows about Sally’s promise to Daddy?
5. How much of Sally’s devotion to Troo is based on love for her sister versus her deep sense of responsibility? How you do think Troo sees Sally?
6. The Catholic Church plays an important role in the neighborhood. Do you think religion still plays as vital a part in our lives as it used to? Why or why not?
7. What does Ethel contribute to the story?
8. Why do you think Sally depends on Ethel so much? What does she get out of the relationship?
9. Family dynamics are complicated, but none more so than the relationship between sisters. Can you describe your experience with your sister or sisters?
10. So much of mental illness went undiagnosed during these times. Name a few characters who might have been a lot better off had they been born now rather than then.
11. Mother seems self-absorbed. Do you understand why that might be?
12. The girls committed an act that will affect them for the rest of their lives. Discuss how you feel about how they handled the problem.
13. Once innocence has been lost, what replaces it?
14. The advent of television changed all of our lives. What are the positives? The negatives?
15. What do you suppose happens to the main characters after the story ends?