The Red Priest's Annina
For parents, teachers, students, and book clubs
Now that you've read The Red Priest's Annina here are some questions for you to consider:
1. At the very beginning of the story, do you get the feeling there's something Annina wants very badly? What does she want? Why can't she have what she wants?
2. How many different feelings and emotions can you name or describe that Annina experiences in this opening scene?
3. How does Annina feel at first when she gets her wish to go to Venice? Why do you think she reacts the way she does?
4. In what ways do all the ups and downs Annina experiences in this first chapter foreshadow what she will experience in the next year?
5. What is Annina most looking forward to when she gets to Venice?
6. When Annina and her sister arrive in Venice, what unusual things does she notice? How would you feel arriving in such a place for the first time? What would you like the best? What would surprise you the most?
7. What fear does the Gypsy woman arouse in Annina? Do you think this fear has anything to do with something that happened in her past? What is Annina's greatest fear?
8. What does la moretta represent? Why do you think Annina has mixed feelings about the mask?
9. In what ways do Annina's fears become real during her first month in Venice? What challenges does she have to face?
10. Why is Chiara so determined to see Annina fail? What does Chiara want?
11. How does Graziana help Annina? What does Annina learn from her?
12. What do you think is the biggest "turning point" of the story?
13. Why is Annina drawn so strongly to Don Antonio? What needs in her does he help to fulfill?
14. What is it about Annina that Don Antonio most admires? Why does he want to take so much time out of his busy schedule to work with her?
15. Do things always go well between Annina and Don Antonio? What is the lowest point in their relationship?
16. What fear does this lowpoint arouse in Annina? Is this fear based on anything she's experienced before?
17. Does Annina always make wise decisions? Does she ever allow herself to trust the wrong people? Why?
18. What are the two best examples of trouble Annina gets into for not choosing wisely? What does she learn from those experiences?
19. How does Don Antonio help Annina to learn more about herself and the world, and to overcome her fears?
20. What does Annina learn about the power of music? What does she learn about Don Antonio?