Parisian Promises (Velastegui)

Discussion Questions
1. In Parisian Promises the reader is led to ruminate about famous love stories, from Elizabeth and Darcy to Abélard and Eloise to Romeo and Juliette.  What are the main characteristics of these stories that have made them moving, intriguing and memorable?

2. Since a memorable love story must have an element of high risk, who faced the highest risk and what was the greatest danger in Parisian Promisess?

3. What was the magnetic pull that Jean-Michel had over Monica?  Due to Monica’s naïveté, was predestined to simultaneously fall in love with more than one man?

4. In what ways is Monica’s romantic involvement with Jean-Michel destined for disappointment?

5. American college students flock to France for their study abroad year.  Did Monica and her room mates have unrealistic expectations for their year in Paris?  How did their expectations lead them into their respective complications during their year abroad?  Would these types of rose-colored dreams occur today, or are they representative of a more innocent era?

6. What did you know about the 1968 student unrest in Paris? How did this book teach you about, or change your impression of, this important chapter in French history?

7. Parisian Promises contains three interweaving story lines about three historical characters.  Are there any redeeming qualities to the 19th century courtesan, La Belle Otero?  What traits did French author, George Sand, display that would be admirable for a contemporary reader?  Were the personal sacrifices made by the lovelorn Ecuadorian wife, Isabel Casamayor de Godin, worth her journey down the dangerous Amazon River?

8. In what ways is Madame Caron de Pichet’s apartment a character all its own? What Parisian landmarks served as elements of danger?

9. French author, Patrick Modiano is famous for his portrayal of a grey, grim Paris of the Occupation.  How does Velástegui depict Paris in the 1970’s from the perspective of foreigners that flocked to the city?  

10. What are the major themes of Parisian Promises?

11. How do you imagine what happens after the end of the novel? What do you think Monica’s life will be like living with a Christophe’s domineering mother? What truths do you think she’ll learn about herself?

12. Why do modern readers enjoy historical novels? How and when can a powerful piece of fiction be a history lesson?
(Questions issued by the publisher.)

top of page (summary)

Site by BOOM Boom Supercreative

LitLovers © 2021