Discussion Questions - Salvation

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1. What is your favorite scene or character within the book? What appeals to you about that particular scene or character?
2. The opening scene of the book involves three important characters. Why do you think the author chose this as the opening scene?
3. How are Salva and Beth different? Despite their differences, what draws them toward each other? What do they have in common?
4. Describe the community where Salva and Beth live. How does this setting impact the action in the story? How does it affect the characters? In the beginning? In the end?
5. Discuss Salva’s relationship with his family members (his father, mother, Lucia, Miguel, younger sisters). How does his relationship with la familia affect his plans for the future? How does Beth’s relationship with her mother affect Beth and her plans?
6. Compare the following friendships: Salva and Pepe, Ni and Beth, Salva and Char. How are the friendships alike and different? How does each friendship impact the action in the story?
7. In chapter 18, why does Beth think Salva should reject the scholarship? Do you think she is right? Do you think she would have the same reaction if she knew about the letters he had received? Do you think her reaction would be the same if she understood the dynamics in Salva’s family?
8. Salvation does not have a clear-cut villain; however, there are many characters that cause problems for Salva and Beth. Which characters do you think play the role of a villain? Explain why you chose those characters.
9. How does the the climax of the story change Salva’s life? How does it impact his view of the future? What character, besides Beth, do you think has the greatest impact on Salva’s new perspective? How did the opening scene foreshadow the climax?
10. Death, grief, poverty, prejudice, and dreams are all themes throughout the book. How are these themes connected within the story? Choose a theme and describe how it impacts the characters and action within the story.

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