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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Miss del Río: A Novel of Dolores del Río, the First Major Latina Star in Hollywood

1. Compare Lola’s upbringing with Mara’s. What do their upbringings tell us about the social structure of pre-Revolutionary Mexico? How does the Mexican Revolution influence the trajectory of each woman’s life?

2. How does Lola and Mara’s friendship blossom and sustain them throughout their lives, despite the obstacles they encounter? Have you had a similar lifelong friendship?

3. Discuss Lola’s romantic relationships in the novel. Why do you think she often makes poor choices when it comes to men? Did you understand her decision to marry Jaime del Río? Is Mara right to judge Lola harshly for her relationship with Carewe? How is Lew Riley ultimately different from the other men who came before him?

4. What does Mara expect from marriage? How are these expectations similar to or different from Lola’s?

5. What do Lola’s early experiences in Hollywood tell us about the exploitation of women in the movie industry? How have things changed or not changed today?

6. What is the role of the press (as represented in the novel by Carla Myer and Star World) in the creation of a celebrity?

7. How do attitudes and laws concerning race affect Lola’s career?

8. What is the role of education in the lives of Lola and Mara?

9. Is Tía Emi a positive or a negative influence in Mara’s life? Did your perception of her change over the course of the story?

10. Discuss Ramón and Mara’s friendship. Why do you think they have such a strong connection?

11. Doña Antonia and Lola are both described as cats with strong survival instincts who are able to adapt to different circumstances. Where do we see them act this way in the novel?

12. How does World War II radically alter the lives of both Lola and Mara?

13. Discuss Lola’s relationship with Frida Kahlo.

14. Why does Lola decide to return to Mexico? How does she rebuild her life there?

15. How do Lola’s efforts to establish day care centers in Mexico alter our perception of her?

16. Would you have liked to live in the Hollywood of the '20s and '30s? In the Mexico of the '30s and '40s? Why or why not?

Miss del Río: A Novel of Dolores del Río, the First Major Latina Star in Hollywood
by Bárbara Mujica

  • Publication Date: October 4, 2022
  • Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Graydon House
  • ISBN-10: 1525899937
  • ISBN-13: 9781525899935