What was your first impression of Bill Luddy?
Why do you think Bill was so drawn to Angie? Do you think they were a good match?
How did living in New York affect Angie? Do you think early on she wondered if she made the wrong choice going there? What impact did Miss Traphagen have on her life?
How would you describe Bill and Angie’s personalities? What aspects of their personalities stayed the same over the years? In what ways did they change?
What impact do you think the Great Depression had on both Angie and Bill growing up?
How do you think Angie felt when she found out that Bill was going to be stationed in New York?
Do you think Bill really changed once he was in the midshipmen’s training program, or do you think Angie saw him differently?
Do you think Angie and Bill had similar ambitions? Would you say that Angie realized her dreams? What about Bill?
What role did religion play in their lives? Did their friendships with Fr. O’Shea and the nuns surprise you?
What role did humor play in their lives?
Why do you think Angie finally decided to marry Bill? How strong a role did the love letters and songs play in her decision? How do you think her friends felt about it?
How did you feel about Angie’s assertion that she had to quit her job at Dolly Madison’s once she got married? After all, Miss Traphagen was married and working. Do you think Angie would have felt differently if she’d grown up in the city?
Were you surprised that Angie went to Key West, and insisted on having the baby there?
In what ways did Angie and Bill’s lives mimic those of their parents? In what ways were they different? Were you surprised that they had eight children?
Which one would you say was more adaptable? How did their early lives impact their ability to cope with the difficulties they encountered?
Did you identify with any of the characters in the story? Why or why not? Were you particularly drawn to any of them?
What struck you about the cartoons and ads in the book? How are they different from today’s cartoons and ads?