Discussion Questions

1. Mexico City is almost like a character in Palace of the Blue Butterfly and plays a significant role. In what ways do Lili’s interactions with the city change her throughout the course of the book?

2. Discuss the character of Vivienne in the novel. How has she shaped Lili’s outlook and life? How has your sibling shaped yours?

3. What do you think Hanes’s motivations are throughout the novel? How and why do they change? If you have lived abroad, have you ever known someone like her?

4. Discuss the role of jealousy and mistrust in the novel. Is Lili’s jealousy resolved by the end of the book? How?

5. Lili had hoped to create a safe and secure life for herself in the States. What prevented her from doing this?

6. Could Lili and Joel have worked out their relationship? Should Lili have tried harder?

7. Discuss importance of being artists in the lives of the women characters?

8. What does Vivienne mean when she says there are “worlds within worlds here”? After reading the novel, do you agree?

9. Lili discovers something that changes the way she see things. Has some new and surprising information ever had that affect on you?

10. What does the future hold for the main characters after the novel’s conclusion? How will all the discoveries affect everyone’s lives?