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Bitter Grounds
by Benitez, Sandra
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1. Coffee is central to the lives of both families. What role does it play, both literally and symbolically?

2. What is the meaning of the title, "Bitter Grounds"?

3. Mercedes Prieto and Elena de Contreras are from different backgrounds and social classes. Despite these differences, how are their lives similar?

4. "Bitter Grounds" spans over 40 years and three generations. Were you familiar with the history of El Salvador during these years? What did you learn from reading the book?

5. "Bitter Grounds" is the story of three generations of the Prieto and Contreras families. How does each of the generations view its relationship with the other family?

6. How does the contents of the letter change the Prieto family? How does it change the Contreras family? How would their lives have been different if the letter hadn't been discovered?

Additional discussion questions from: Reading Group Guides
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