Book Club Questions


(1) Which character do you think is the garment maker’s daughter from the book’s title?

[2) Of all the characters in the book, which one did you relate to the most and what was it about them that you connected with?

(3) Lena has a lot of dreams when she first arrives in America. In what ways does the period in which the novel is set affect her ability to fulfill her dreams? How do her dreams compare to those of young women today?

(4) Daniel arrives in American not speaking English and with no place to live, no job, no family, or friends. If you immigrated to a new country under similar conditions, what is the first thing you would do?

(5) Do you think that Jake’s experiences as a child affect his relationships with women in the book?

(6) Did this book make you think differently about immigrants? Are today’s immigrants are the same as immigrants who came to this country at the beginning of the twentieth century? Is the America that today’s immigrants find the same as the America of the early twentieth century?

(7) Lena and Will’s relationship changes over time (or does it?) Why do you think Lena was attracted to Will in the first place? Do you know any strong women who stayed in relationships that you thought were bad for them?

(8) What do you think about Lena’s decisions not to be truthful with Rachel? How about her decision to withhold the truth from Jake? From Sophie?

(9) Did you like the way the book switched between the characters’ points of view?

(10) Did you learn anything you didn’t know previously about labor unions? Did your feelings about labor unions change in any way? Do you think that unions are still important today

(11) Which character do you think changes or grows the most over the course of the book?

(12) If the book was made into a movie, who would you want to see play the lead parts?

(13) One of the theme’s of this book is the interconnections between the various characters over time. How does this interconnectedness play out in the book? Do you see your life as a series of random experiences or is there a larger scheme in place that keeps you connected to other people?

(14) How did you like the ending? Were you surprised? If not, at what point did you begin to think the book would end the way it did?