Book Club Questions

Need some some questions for your book club discussion of The Other Mrs. Samson? (FYI – I enjoy participating in book club meetings. There is never a charge and it is easy to do virtually. Please contact me to arrange.)

  • Parents and grandparents played an important role in the lives of Hilda and Katie. Which relatives most significantly changed the course of Hilda’s and Katie’s lives?
  • Hilda is first introduced as a pampered and spoiled little girl. How did her character change over time, and what events shaped her personality?  
  • Did you learn anything new about American immigration in the mid-1800s and lifestyle/cultural changes that took place in San Francisco into the early 1900s?
  • How did Hilda’s and Joseph’s lives change in Berlin during WWI? Were you surprised that she chose to stay? How did the war affect young Katie and her family?
  • Did you like the relationship between Joseph and his mother? Between his mother and Katie?
  • With a thirty-one-year age difference, is it believable that Katie and Joseph could be so in love?
  • What did you think of Joseph’s character? Do you think he was involved in some kind of underground movement of German Jews? Can you justify his secrecy and dishonesty?
  • There were many difficulties for refugees escaping Europe during WWII: different and frequently changing rules depending on country of birth, logistical nightmares, and dangerous undercurrents. Joseph and Katie’s pathway was quite different from Paul and Mamarella’s. Are there parallels in today’s world?
  • A Hofuhrmacher mantel clock features prominently in the book. Discuss its importance to Katie.
  • Was the ending a surprise? Were you surprised that Katie had never disclosed this “secret” to others?
  • Could there be a little box hidden in your attic?
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