Discussion Questions for
The Goddess of Warsaw

1.      The novel is filled with empowered female characters:  Bina, Zelda, Anna, Sienna. How does each woman use her “power” to impact the plot and affect others while defining her own path? 

2.     Revenge is a powerful theme threading through the novel. Does Bina/Lena  take vengeance TOO far at the expense of her own happiness, and why is that price tag worth it to her? 

3.    For those who have survived war and atrocity –  is revenge redemption?

4.    In the Warsaw Ghetto and the majority of war-time situations – women are unsung heroes. Why? And how does GODDESS change this? 

5.    The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising is considered the most important Jewish revolts during WWII. Why, according to the leader of the Uprising Zelda – that even if the Jews in the Ghetto lost or died – fighting back was in itself the win. Explain.

6.    Zelda says: Once you decide you are no longer a lamb but a wolf, everything changes. What does she mean by this and how does this impact Bina’s journey? Why is Zelda the voice in Bina’s head? 

7.     Bina is beautiful and talented, yet she says, “Don’t be fooled by the pretty dress and the lipstick – I have become an animal. ‘They’ turned me into that. You’re either a hunter or the hunted – There’s no in between.” How does she evolve from a young actress into an assassin and then an avenger?

8.    Why did Lena Browning have to have the last act, the last word? And once she did, was she really at peace? 


9.    What is the fine line between the pursuit of justice and the hunt for revenge – and does Bina/Lena or any of the other characters go too far?


10.  Aleksander chose LOVE as his means of survival and revenge after the war. Bina, on the other hand, chose payback. Who ultimately wins and why? 


11.    Bina has portrayed every role imaginable as a young woman – heroine, wife, lover, mistress, daughter, villain, maid, whore, seductress, smuggler and assassin.  She says she was “a woman born to become anyone other than who she really is.” What does she mean by this.? And is there any point in the book in which Bina is NOT acting? 


12.   Lena Browning has many lovers, though only one true love – a forbidden love with her brother-in-law. How does this destroy everything around her? And why was Bina to blame, banished from the Ghetto, and not Aleksander as well?  


13.   It takes extraordinary circumstances to survive war, atrocity, and brutality. Lena justifies her violent past to the young actress Sienna Hayes, maintaining she is an avenger and not a psychopath. “Survival is either him or me. It always comes down to a choice, never a compromise. It is those things that one would never do that one must do to survive.”  Do you agree?