Thomas Dunne Books  2009


Discussion Questions

1. What do you think is represented by the stampede of wild horses that Lili witnesses? Do horses recur in the novel? Do other animals play a significant role in the novel? For example, how does Smetana the cat help Istvan to survive? 

2. What is the role of music in this novel? How did the passages about music add to your reading experience? What is being implied by the music? 

3. Commandant Karoly Fekete mercifully saves Lili from Sergeant Erdo. In the concentration camp, a cruel guard spares Marta’s life and helps her escape. Why do you think people capable of such cruelty are also depicted as capable of compassion? 

4. Was it reasonable for Robert to ask Paul and his sister to go on work detail? Did he intend for Paul to depart? Why do you think Paul decided to leave at the end of the novel without telling his family where he was going? Where do you think he goes? 

5. Why is the novel called Gratitude?

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