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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Flamboyant: A Novel

1. What tragic event prompts Lenora Demarest's move from Chautauqua County to Puerto Rico? Who accompanies her? Who is George Hanson, and where does Lenora Demarest first meet him? What excitement does he communicate to her at that time?

2. Who is Ignacio Portelli? What brings about his initial visit to their plantation, La Sardinera? How does he feel about Lenora? What extravagant gift does he give her shortly after meeting her?

3. Who is Milady García? What conditions bring her from her home in Mayagüez to the Demarests? How does her role at the plantation change over the course of The Flamboyant?

4. What did you think of the portrayals of the Demarests and their workers? How would you characterize their treatment of their employees? What are some of the ways in which they support the locals in their region, and the workers on their farm?

5. What stimulates Lenora's interest in jewelry? What decision does she make about her own collection? How does she educate herself about jewelry? Did any of her descriptions of jewels intrigue you?

6. When George Hanson takes Lenora up in a plane for the first time, how does she react? How does George encourage Lenora to pursue aviation? What role does he play in her instruction?

7. How do Henry Demarest and Milady García reveal their engagement to Lenora? Does she suspect their relationship? How does she feel about her father's remarriage? Do those feelings undergo any change as the date of the wedding approaches?

8. Who is Janet Rowan? How does she factor into Lenora's experience of flying? How does Lenora come to know Amelia Earhart? What shared struggle defines their connection? How does Earhart feel about the institution of marriage? Compare and contrast Earhart's views with Lenora's feelings about becoming a wife.

9. What is the name of Lenora's first plane? What does the previous owner try to get Lenora to promise? How does she feel when she flies? Would you characterize her feelings about flying as more powerful than her feelings for George and Ignacio?

10. How did you interpret the afterword of the book? Were you surprised by the trajectory of Lenora's life? What aspects of her life did you find especially intriguing? How would you describe her character?

The Flamboyant: A Novel
by Lori Marie Carlson

  • Publication Date: October 7, 2003
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial
  • ISBN-10: 006093560X
  • ISBN-13: 9780060935603