Book Club Discussion Questions for Bittersweet Harvest
We’ve prepared the following discussion questions for Bittersweet Harvest with book clubs in mind. Enjoy!
1) The three O’Shaughnessy daughters – Catherine, Ruby and Sharon –have very distinct individual personalities. Sharon is the mother hen, Ruby the spitfire and Catherine the follower. Which most closely matches your personality? The personalities of your children?
2) Will O’Shaughnessy “knew Wisconsin history.” Do you know Wisconsin history? Name three dates, people or events from the state’s past, and discuss how they shaped today.
3) Will and Mary’s home near the Wisconsin River was “as basic as most Wisconsin farm houses, but maybe a bit bigger, with five rooms downstairs and four up.” Did you grow up in – or spend a significant amount of time in a relative’s – Wisconsin farm house? What do you remember?
4) In chapter four, Ruby and Catherine are lost in a snowstorm. What is the biggest snowstorm you recall as a child?
5) Rev. Rosner preaches that “the strong man shows mercy.” Will and Mary have opposing views on this statement. Do you agree or disagree with it?
6) Are you old enough to remember World War II? What do you recall about those years?
7) When Catherine leaves for nursing school, her parents eagerly anticipate her first letter. How has the shift, in recent decades, from hand-writing letters to communicating by e-mail and social media, been good and bad for society?
8) Would you have joined Will’s fledgling dairy co-op? Why or why not?
9) As Bittersweet Harvest concludes, Will and Gusta are going into the cheese shipping business. Do you think they will succeed?
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