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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Lost Summers of Newport

1. Had you ever heard of or visited Newport, Rhode Island, before reading this book? Why do you think the authors chose it as a setting for this novel?

2. Andie tells the reader: “My interest...was all about the careful restoration of our collective past that was held in trust by old buildings.” What do you think old buildings tell us about our collective past? Is that true of Sprague Hall?

3. What did you make of Stuyvesant Sprague and his marriage to Lucky? What do you think she meant when she said at the end that Stuy “deserved better”?

4. Was Ellen right to report Dermot to the police once she knew the depth of his criminality, despite his personal kindness to her? How does her flight from New York foreshadow the decision that Ellen makes later in the book? Do you agree with her choices?

5. Ellen thinks to herself: “She’d no call to be feeling sorry for an heiress... As long as her salary was paid.” Did you feel sorry for Maybelle? What’s her role in this story? What kind of different ending would you have written for her?

6. Prince Sebastiano encourages Ellen to take Maybelle’s place, saying “Honor her with your living. Live the life she might have led.” Is that what Ellen does? Would you have been persuaded by that argument?

7. Jackie Kennedy tells Lucky: “All these palaces...had a single perfect moment in history, and then the hour was past... I don’t know if you can ever get such a thing back once it’s gone.” Do you agree with her? What do you think the next phase of Sprague Hall’s history will be like, once Lucky sells it?

8. Each “Team W” book is written in alternating storylines by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig and Karen White. Can you guess who wrote which storyline?

9. When Brenda needed Charlie’s help to repair the organs, did you expect him to have so much fun doing it? Why do you think he enjoyed it so much?

10. Why does Charlie hate the nickname Trigger so much?

11. From the first chapter to the last, Brenda says she regrets the unloving way she behaved toward Charlie in their early times together. Likewise, Charlie reveals his regrets about his work on the bomb. What does the ending of the book tell you about their efforts to find redemption?

The Lost Summers of Newport
by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White