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Discussion Questions for A Trial in Venice by Roberta Rich
Where you ever lost as a child? Did you ever lose a child?
As women, Hannah and Cesca are at a disadvantage because of the time and place in which they were born. Discuss the ways in which each of them survive and overcome obstacles. How would their lives be different as modern women?
Does Cesca’s background explain her attitudes and approach to getting ahead in the world?
Does the fact that Hannah is Jewish make her decisions and attitudes different from gentile women?
If you were writing a book about the 16 th century, where would you locate your novel?
Did you find the ending satisfying or would you have preferred a different ending?
Do you think modern partners faced with the challenges that faced Hannah and Isaac would survive as a couple?
Did the religious conflict described in the book give you insights into todays’ religious conflicts?
Anti-Semitism is, unfortunately alive and well in the modern world. Why do you think it has persisted for so many hundreds of years?
Andreas Palladio was an influential architect whose books are still studied today. Do you enjoy reading about actual historical figures?
Hannah faces many moral dilemmas in the course of the book. Do you think she did the right thing in leaving Isaac and Jessica and sailing to Venice to find Matteo? What about in returning to deliver Bianca’s second baby?
What details in the book do you feel create a sense of time and place?
Do you enjoy the structure of a novel told from two points of views, in this case Hannah’s and Cesca’s?
Do you feel the character of Asher was plausibly written?