Skip to Main Content

Islington Branch Book Club - Past Titles: "The Saturday Evening Girls Club" by Jane Healey

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

"The Saturday Evening Girls Club" by Jane Healey

  1. Immigrant Experience:

    • Explore how the novel portrays the immigrant experience in early 20th-century America, particularly through the perspectives of the four main characters: Caprice, Maria, Thea, and Ada. What challenges do they face as immigrants, and how do they navigate cultural differences and expectations?
  2. Friendship and Community:

    • Discuss the significance of the Saturday Evening Girls Club in the lives of the four main characters. How does their friendship provide support, camaraderie, and a sense of belonging in a new and sometimes hostile environment?
    • Consider how the broader immigrant community in the North End serves as a source of support and solidarity for the characters.
  3. Gender Roles and Expectations:

    • Analyze the ways in which gender roles and expectations shape the lives of the female characters in the novel. How do Caprice, Maria, Thea, and Ada navigate societal expectations and restrictions placed on women during this time period?
    • Discuss how the characters challenge or conform to traditional gender roles in their pursuit of education, career aspirations, and personal fulfillment.
  4. Identity and Assimilation:

    • Explore the characters' struggles with identity and assimilation. How do they reconcile their cultural heritage with the desire to adapt and integrate into American society?
    • Consider how the characters' experiences of discrimination and prejudice shape their sense of self and their relationships with others.
  5. Social Issues and Historical Context:

    • The novel touches on various social issues of the time, including women's rights, labor rights, and immigration policies. Discuss how these issues are portrayed in the narrative and their relevance to contemporary society.
    • How do the characters engage with activism and social change, both individually and collectively?
  6. Family Dynamics:

    • Examine the dynamics of family relationships within the novel, particularly the relationships between the four main characters and their families. How do familial expectations and obligations impact the characters' choices and aspirations?
    • Discuss the ways in which the characters negotiate their desires for independence and autonomy within the context of their familial responsibilities.
  7. Personal Growth and Resilience:

    • Trace the personal growth and development of the four main characters throughout the novel. How do they overcome obstacles and challenges to pursue their dreams and aspirations?
    • Discuss instances of resilience and perseverance demonstrated by the characters in the face of adversity.
  8. Narrative Structure and Themes:

    • Reflect on the novel's structure and how it contributes to the exploration of themes such as friendship, identity, and belonging.
    • Consider how the alternating perspectives of the four main characters enrich the narrative and provide insight into their individual experiences and perspectives.
  9. Historical Accuracy and Research:

    • Discuss the author's research process and the historical accuracy of the novel. How does the portrayal of early 20th-century Boston reflect the socio-cultural context of the time?
    • Explore any historical events or figures referenced in the novel and their significance to the story.
  10. Legacy and Reflection:

    • Reflect on the novel's ending and the characters' journeys. How do the experiences of Caprice, Maria, Thea, and Ada shape their futures and leave a lasting impact on their lives and communities?
    • Discuss the enduring themes and messages of the novel and their relevance to contemporary readers.

Jane Healey is the author of The Beantown Girls, a Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestseller, The Secret Stealers, which was an Amazon First Reads Editor’s Pick and a Historical Novel Society’s Editors’ Choice, and her debut, The Saturday Evening Girls ClubGoodnight from Paris is her newly released novel from Lake Union Publishing. Jane is also the host of Historical Happy Hour, a webinar and podcast featuring interviews with premier historical fiction authors and their latest novels. She lives outside of Boston with her husband, two daughters, cats and a dog.

Jane Healey has given presentations about the history behind her novels to hundreds of libraries, book clubs and organizations around the country, including through the Jewish Book Council Network and the American Red Cross.


Westwood Public Library

Main Library

660 High Street
Westwood, MA 02090
Email Main Library

Islington Branch

273 Washington Street
Westwood, MA 02090
Email Branch Library