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Islington Branch Book Club - Past Titles: "The Red Coat" by Dolley Carlson

Take a look through previous titles we've discussed at our Islington Branch Book Club

"The Red Coat" by Dolley Carlson

  1. Character Analysis:

    • Discuss the main characters in "The Red Coat," including Lily, Charlotte, and Molly. How do their backgrounds, personalities, and experiences shape their responses to the challenges they face during the war?
  2. Themes of Love and Sacrifice:

    • How do the themes of love and sacrifice manifest in the novel? Consider the sacrifices made by characters for their loved ones, as well as the impact of wartime separations on relationships.
  3. Female Resilience and Empowerment:

    • Explore the portrayal of female resilience and empowerment in the novel, particularly through characters like Lily and Charlotte. How do they navigate the challenges of wartime and assert agency in their lives?
  4. Friendship and Camaraderie:

    • Discuss the importance of friendship and camaraderie among the characters, both on the home front and the battlefield. How do these relationships provide support and solace during difficult times?
  5. The Home Front vs. the Front Lines:

    • Contrast the experiences of characters on the home front (e.g., Lily and Charlotte) with those serving on the front lines (e.g., Molly). How do their perspectives and challenges differ, and what commonalities do they share?
  6. The Impact of War on Families:

    • How does the war affect families in the novel, both emotionally and practically? Consider the strains on familial relationships, as well as the changes in roles and responsibilities within families during wartime.
  7. Historical Accuracy and Context:

    • Reflect on the historical accuracy of the novel and the portrayal of life during World War II. How does Carlson effectively immerse readers in the time period, and what historical details add depth to the story?
  8. The Symbolism of the Red Coat:

    • Analyze the symbolism of the red coat throughout the novel. What does it represent for Lily, and how does it serve as a motif that threads through the narrative?
  9. Loss and Grief:

    • Discuss the themes of loss and grief in the novel, particularly in relation to characters coping with the death of loved ones. How do characters navigate their grief, and what coping mechanisms do they employ?
  10. The Role of Women in War:

    • Explore the role of women in wartime, both on the home front and in military service. How do characters like Lily, Charlotte, and Molly challenge traditional gender roles and contribute to the war effort?
  11. The Power of Memory and Remembrance:

    • Reflect on the importance of memory and remembrance in the novel. How do characters preserve the memory of loved ones lost to war, and what significance does this hold for them?
  12. Relevance to Contemporary Issues:

    • Consider the relevance of the themes and issues explored in "The Red Coat" to contemporary society. How do the experiences of characters during World War II resonate with modern-day challenges, conflicts, and societal debates?

Dolley has a heartfelt desire to equip women with creative solutions to meet the challenges they face on a day-to-day basis. "Women want the best for their family and their relationships. It's wonderful to be able to share how God's Word, the power of prayer, and the Lord's love and guidance have been powerful influences in my life and in the lives of my family and friends."

Also close to Dolley's heart is reaching out to adults from dysfunctional backgrounds. Her mother was an alcoholic and, as a result, her teenage years were marked by turmoil and abuse. The miracle of Dolley's survival proves the love and protection that her heavenly Father had for His child. "His wisdom, mercy and love were so evident during this time of little guidance and support." Dolley holds deep in her heart the hope a relationship with Jesus and a heavenly Father can provide. The Lord is answering the prayer of Dolley's life verse, "For my father and mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me up. Teach me Thy way O Lord, and lead me in a level path . . ." Psalm 27:10-11

The Lord has given Dolley many opportunities to share her life and insights in ministry for Him across America and in Kiev, Ukraine. She is a frequent speaker at women's retreats, outreaches, luncheons, banquets, and conferences. She has been a popular and inspirational speaker for the National Charity League and has shared her testimony numerous times over the last 20 years for Christian Leadership Week in Newport Beach, CA.

In addition to her speaking ministry, Dolley is an author, professional model and fashion show commentator.

Dolley has been married to her
husband, Tom, for over 29 years.

They have two daughters, Candy and Katie, and reside in sunny Southern California.


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Islington Branch

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Westwood, MA 02090
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