Red Sky at Noon (Montefiore) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
We'll add publisher questions if and when they're available; in the meantime, use our LitLovers talking points to help start a discussion for Red Sky at Noon … then take off on your own:

1. Describe the conditions for prisoners in the Gulags … which are then traded for conditions at the front. Which is the more horrific—the forced labor camp or warfare?

2. How would you describe Benya's relationship with Silver Socks? How do they give one another strength?

3. What have you learned about the Cossacks: their history and their role in World War II?

4. Benya is an odd man out when it comes to his comrades in arms: he is a Jew, an intellectual, a political prisoner, and an urbanized man. What is his relationship with his fellow soldiers?

5. The novel contains two romances. How well do you think the author handles them? Do they add to the novel's poignancy … or feel cumbersome? Do they enhance the narrative … or feel extraneous? Does it make a difference in knowing that Svetlana's romance is based on real life?

6. What are your overall reactions to Red Sky at Noon? Is it a "page turner"?

7. Is it necessary to have read the first two volumes of Montefiore's trilogy to appreciate this final one? If you've read the other two—Shashenka (2008) and/or One Night in Winter (2013)—how does this final installment stack up? If you haven't read the other two, do you think you might?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online and off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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