READERS GUIDEDiscussion Questions for The Good Left Undone by Adriana Trigiani:
1. How do shifts in Italian culture create tension between Matelda and Anina? Why was it so important to Matelda to tell her family stories from the past? How do the secrets she shares help heal and strengthen her family bonds?
2. Were you familiar with the history of British Italians during World War II and the Arandora Star? What surprised you most about the story?
3. “Love, it turned out, can shelter the banished and lift the broken spirit.” How does love—both romantic and platonic and, most importantly, self-love—change the course of the characters’ lives? How do their decisions aboutwho to love and when to follow their hearts affect generations to come?
4. “A family is only as strong as their stories.” How do you see the Cabrelli family’s story changing over the years?
5. Women from different generations are at the heart of this novel. Despite history changing around them, do these women feel different in the way they react to life circumstances to you? Why or why not?
6. In addition to stories, heirlooms are passed down in this family. Did the book make you think about relics in your own family? What ending do you imagine for Anina? How did you experience her character’s evolving over the course of the novel?
7. How did you understand the title, The Good Left Undone, upon finishing the novel?