June 22, 2008

Book Discussion: Trudy's Promise

Hopefully by now you all have been able to read and finish the book! Like Marie said last month, I do not want to hijack the discussion, so I will simply post the discussion questions now and jump in once the discussion has started.

However, I can tell you that I chose the book for two reasons:

1. I really enjoy reading books that take place in Europe during this time period.

2. I enjoyed the last book I read by Marcia Preston (The Butterfly House) and was excited to read this one.

So now, onto the questions:

1. Did you find the book interesting? Why or why not? Did it exceed your expectations? Or did it not live up to your expectations?

2. Did you find the story believable? Why or why not?

3. Did you find the characters believable? Who was your favorite/least favorite?

4. Were you able to relate to the main character, Trudy? Would you have made the same choices she did, or would you have done something different?

5. What do you think about Kruger?

6. What did you think about the story once she came to America? Was it a believable chain of events? Were there any parts in particular that you thought did not "fit" with the rest of the story?

7. Were you surprised when Marcia Preston worked JFK's assassination into the story? Why do you think she did that?

8. Do you remember what was going on in your life when the Berlin Wall fell?

9. Is there something else about the book you want to bring up?

And please don't forget to email me your questions for Marcia Preston!! Email me at jdyrholm {at} comcast {dot} net!! I'll compile them and send them off to Marica Preson after the 25th.


  1. I really enjoyed this book. I've read a lot of books set in this time period, but they usually come across as cheesy and unrealistic. This one didn't. Also most books I've read about mothers separated from their children are just not believable, you can't feel the bond at all. It's either not there at all or turned into a cheese fest. I could really feel Trudy's connection to her son, her loneliness, and her determination to reunite with her family. The parts where she saw him across the wall were heart wrenching.

    I did wonder why Trudy never really seems to think about Rolf. He seems like an after thought when he comes up, even though at the beginning she says she always felt she loved him more than he loved her. I just didn't feel the love. That's my only complaint. That and that she never hooked up with Wolfgang. :P

  2. I just finished the book and really wasn't sure what I thought about it at first but ended up really liking it. The end was a little hard for me to imagine and didn't play out as dramatic in my mind as I think it probably was supposed to. I liked the characters, and I like the fact that Trudy was always focused on one mission, getting Stefan. I wasn't expecting Trudy's experience in America to be what it was, but for some reason I felt it was believeable. The only characters that I didn't really like were Thompson and Rolf. Rolf just didn't seem to ever truly love Trudy; he seemed to be more into politics than her. And in the end I think I would've liked a little bit more development of the relationship between Trudy and Kruger to see her learn how much compassion and love he really had. I was too young to remmeber when the Berlin Wall came down, and I can't even imagine being locked in somewhere like that. It was one of the first books I've read about this time period, and I really liked it. I didn't email you... but will you ask Marcia where she got the inspiration for her characters? Were they based off of any historical figures or just made out of her mind?

  3. I did really like this book. The fact that I didn't think I nessarily would definitely gives it credit. I like historical fiction when it is done well, and I felt this was done well. The characters were realistic, not being completely good or completely bad. Marcia did a good job of painting the hopelessness of living on the other side of the Berlin Wall.

    I was surprised by the role of the JFK assassination in the plot. While it was certainly leading up to this point, I didn't expect a major event in American history to be so important to this book. I suspect that it was an important event in Marcia's life as well.

    I did think that Wolfgang and Trudy were going to get together, but I suppose that it was more realistic that they didn't. I did have a hard time following the final scene of the toddler walking across the border and all, just as Britni said.

    Though Rolf's dying words were to Trudy, he always seemed to be entirely motivated by his politics rather than love of family in the little bit that we saw him.

  4. Well I guess we all agree we liked the book! For pretty much the same reasons....it was a believable story with believable characters.

    While reading the book I kept thinking back to my trip to Berlin, since many of the places mentioned in the book are the exact places we visited. Especially during the scenes where she saw her son through the wall. We have pictures where we were at the Berlin Wall, and I was just imagining how it must have felt for her.

    I am so glad everyone liked it!

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