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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Vote

1. Why did Kate Brenner's experience in the Occoquan Workhouse make her decide to work with the National Woman's Party?

2. Why do you think some women in 1918 actually were indifferent and even opposed to women voting?   

3. When Lucy Burns first decided to work for the women's vote, did she anticipate the consequences?   

4. How would you describe the relationship between Alice Paul and Lucy Burns?

5. Given Mary Daly's experiences working for Kate's "kind of people," what made Mary decide to help her defeat Senator Shafroth for reelection?

6. Over the summer, as Kate comes to learn more about the inner workings of the NWP, when she discovers a different side to Lucy, did it influence Kate's own attitude toward her job?

7. Kate buries her early attraction for Charlie when she suspects he might be a tool of the government. What made her ultimately change her mind?

8. Did Mary Daly suspect she might find someone other than her friend, Rosa, in the house on Goat Hill? If she did, why didn't she ask Kate and Charlie to go with her?

9. How would you describe the reaction of Kate's parents to her decision to dedicate herself to the woman's vote?

10. At the novel's end, Kate and Charlie know they want to live their lives together, even as they also know she will be playing a major part in the upcoming ratification process. How does her situation compare to that of today's women trying to balance their private and public life?

The Vote
by Sybil Downing

  • Publication Date: September 15, 2006
  • Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • ISBN-10: 0826338577
  • ISBN-13: 9780826338570