Book Club Discussion Questions for 'Beneath a Scarlet Sky' by Mark T. Sullivan

We typically feature womxn authors or books with a female+ lead character, however, we were so impressed with Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan that we decided to include it in our digital book club. Why? 1) because it is an incredible true story that covers an often overlooked piece of WWII history, 2) the main female characters in the story show how complicated and difficult it was to be a single woman surviving a time of war, 3) it’s just a damn good book. So, let’s get into it (spoilers ahead).

  1. As you may have guessed, we loved this book. Did you like it? What were the weak points and what made this book stand out (or not) among the other WWII stories you’ve read?

  2. What were your first impressions of Pino and Mimo? How did their personalities change over the years?

  3. Think about the women described throughout various points in the story. What roles did they play? How did they try to survive wartime?

  4. Was there anything Anna could have done to avoid her fate? Could Pino have done anything to help her?

  5. Who do you think Leyers really was? Who’s side was he on?

  6. Pino exemplified heroism many times throughout the book. At which point was he the bravest?

  7. In the book’s afterword, Sullivan briefly describes what became of Pino. Did anything surprise you?

  8. Why didn’t Pino talk about his WWII experience for many years? Why did he eventually decide to talk? How can we learn the amazing stories of our elders while still respecting their privacy?

  9. Have your parents, grandparents, or great grandparents shared their WWII stories with you?

Cameron Bruns Ewing is the managing editor of Just Us Gals. She works for Hubspot is pursuing a degree in environmental sustainability from University College Dublin. Follow her outdoor adventures & travels via Instagram and her sustainability work via LinkedIn.

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