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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Last Night I Spent With You: A Novel

1. "Women lose their inhibitions on ships," Fernando says, quoting a friend who has helped him plan the cruise. This friend refers to the dizzying effect the sea has on couples, "the open sea, naturally, when terra firma's lost from view." Why would the open sea make people, especially women, less inhibited? As the couple and their friend Julieta stop off at various islands, is there a change in their behavior on shore and off?

2. How do each of the characters use fantasy and deception to get what they want from each other? What do these fantasies and deceptions say about the characters themselves? How much of the novel is fantasy, and how much reality?

3. What did you think of the novel's erotic passages? Does any of the sexual action seem offensive or overly violent? How does the fact that Montero is a woman affect your reaction to these scenes?

4. At the end of the novel we understand the connection between Fernando and Julieta and between Celia and Conejo. How do these connections explain -- or at least illuminate -- Fernando and Celia's infidelities? What do you think Montero is saying about the connection between sex and death?

The Last Night I Spent With You: A Novel
by Mayra Montero

  • Publication Date: July 3, 2001
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial
  • ISBN-10: 0060934743
  • ISBN-13: 9780060934743