“Lioness of Boston” book group discussion guide

Thank you for choosing The Lioness of Boston as your book group selection! Here are some questions to consider:

• Isabella is rejected early in her Boston life. How does this rejection influence her character? Are there ways this rejection helps her?

• What draws Isabella to Jack? What traits does she have that he finds compelling do you think? How does their marriage change during the course of the book?

• What is Isabella looking for in a friend? Do you think she finds it? How would you describe her circle of friends by the end of the novel?

• How does the tragedy Isabella experiences influence her later lite decisions?

• Scandal seems unavoidable for Isabella——do you think it finds her or she finds it?

• Isabella isn’t an artist, yet she does have an artistic vision. How do you see this vision throughout the book, prior to the opening of the museum?

• Though this novel starts in 1861 and closes in 1903 with the opening of the museum, there are many issues discussed that still are relevant today. Discuss these themes (misogyny, racism, cliquishness, etc.).

• Is there a scene that resonated for you personally? If so, why? Are you comfortable sharing this with the group?

• What did you learn about Boston history or world history that you did not know prior to reading this novel?

• Isabella says that we collect all that we are. Is there an object in your own home that tells a story about you? Or a collection?

• Who–or what–is Isabella’s greatest love?

• How does Isabella’s older voice looking back differ from the voice in book 1-4?

• What story elements surprised you?

• Isabella was the first woman to open a museum in the United States. She decided in her will to state that nothing be moved. Why?

• Were you compelled to look up any works of art or details from the novel? If so, which ones and why?

• Why do you think The Lioness of Boston is the title of this novel?

“Washed Ashore” in the Star Tribune

“Moving vignettes of striving to be a good husband, stay-at-home-dad and writer….In writing about the sweet and bitter particulars of his corner of the world, Eville has written a book about life itself.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune

Read the full review here.

Author Emily Franklin Talks New Historical Fiction “The Lioness of Boston”

Emily Franklin joins Sunday Journal this week to discuss her new work of historical fiction: The Lioness of Boston. The story follows the life of Isabella Stewart Garner, founder of the arts museum she shares her name with, as well as other famous historical figures from the region. Franklin will also be on Cape for several book signing events, the first being May 23 at Sandwich Town Hall at 6:30pm, organized by Titcomb’s Bookshop. She will also visit Books on the Cape in Chatham at 12 pm on August 3, as well as East End Books in Provincetown with Erin McHugh at 6 pm on August 10. Listen here

“Seeing Like an Artist” in the Wall Street Journal

“Go, look, love! A painter’s memoir of traveling to see great paintings with his own eyes becomes a passionate argument for the value of personal encounters with art….Beguiling and informative…Mr. Perry advises each of his readers to ‘create your own Grand Tour’ of the kingdom of art….this guidebook is obligatory.”—Dominic Green, The Wall Street Journal

Order now!

Advance praise for One True Sentence

“A revelatory compendium….readers are likely to come away with a deepened understanding of—and even awe at—Hemingway’s vast talent.”
Read the Publishers Weekly review

“An enjoyable exploration of how Hemingway’s influence on American literature continues to be significant….A valuable take on a canonical writer, highlighting how good work stands the test of time.”
Read the Kirkus review

For more about One True Sentence: Writers & Readers on Hemingway’s Art go here.