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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post

1. What was your first impression of Marjorie Merriweather Post? How did that impression change throughout the course of the novel? How did Marjorie change during her lifetime?

2. Marjorie Post had many roles in life: daughter, wife and mother, businesswoman, philanthropist, press target, press darling, hostess, collector, diplomat, style icon, etc. Which was your favorite side of her? Which do you think meant the most to her?

3. A wife four times over, Marjorie sought her happily-ever-after with four radically different men. How did each marriage shape her identity? In the end, do you think she found her ultimate happily-ever-after?

4. Love, family and feminism are all major themes in the novel. What other overarching ideas did you notice? What did you take away from reading the book overall?

5. Had you heard of Marjorie Post before? What did you learn about her historical significance from this book? Are there ways you think Marjorie’s legacy has shaped your life today?

6. THE MAGNIFICENT LIVES OF MARJORIE POST is written from a first-person point of view. Did that help you connect to Marjorie as a character? How might the book be different if written from a different perspective?

7. In her note at the back of the book, Allison Pataki says that her job as a writer of historical fiction is to “gather up and absorb many different details and facts and then attempt to get at the emotional truths that reside therein.” What emotional truths did you
experience while reading?

8. What other great women in history did Marjorie remind you of?

9. Pataki writes that Marjorie’s was “A life made ever richer by curiosity and generosity. A life in which I spent gladly of the riches of my heart. A life that has been a truly beautiful thing.” (p. 531) What does living life to the fullest mean to you?

10. How does THE MAGNIFICENT LIVES OF MARJORIE POST compare to Pataki’s other historical fiction, such as THE QUEEN'S FORTUNE or SISI?

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post
by Allison Pataki

  • Publication Date: February 7, 2023
  • Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • ISBN-10: 0593355709
  • ISBN-13: 9780593355701