Is Your BOOK CLUB Thirsty for THIRST?

If so, contact Mary to arrange a visit or a Skype video discussion. Below, find some talking points.

Book Club Questions for THIRST, by Mary Donnarumma Sharnick (

1)      How does the setting of Venice contribute to the tone of the novel?

2)      Two disturbing events—a double drowning in the lagoon and a murder on a bridge—introduce the reader to the turmoil beneath the apparent calm of Venice, “la Serenissima,” or “the most serene.”  What is the relationship between the calm and the tumultuous in the novel?

3)      How do Captain Lorenzo Contarini and the scholar/lawyer Primo function as foils?

4)      How does la Strega transcend each of the three roles—wife, nun, whore–to which women in the novel are relegated?

5)      Which characters exert the most power in the Venice of this novel?  Which exert the least?  Why?

6)      How does the novel explore the question:  When are we morally culpable?

7)      How does the novel explore gender?

8)      How does the novel explore the status of outsiders?

9)      How might the novel be considered both “holy” and “unholy?”

10)  Is the novel’s ending satisfying or not?  Why?


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