Discussion Questions

  1. Have you ever wanted to leave everything and move to a foreign country, like Theresa did? Did you ever do so? Why, or why not?
  2. Did you approve of the way Theresa tried to balance Kurdish and Western values? What could/should she have done differently?
  3. Do you think that Seema ended up being cut? Was it important to know for sure?
  4. If you were one of the expat teachers at The Fortress, what would you have done about the issue of academic integrity?
  5. The novel takes place in a peaceful window after Al Qaeda and just before the rise of ISIS. How do you think Rabinowitz reacted to ISIS taking over large swaths of Iraq?
  6. Do you think Theresa was brave? Foolish? Naive? Overly trusting? A hero or a victim? What decisions would you have made differently?
  7. Is there anything that Theresa could/should have done to protect Soz or Bezma?
  8. Who was your favorite character, and why? Was there one character that you especially related to?
  9. How might the story have changed if Theresa were 27, 37 or 47 instead of 57? What if she had been a man instead of a woman?

If you or your book club members have specific questions to ask the author, just write to her and she will reply.

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