BOOK CLUBS

I would be delighted to join your book club, classroom or interest group discussions in person or via Skype if our schedules are compatible. Elaine joins me for talks about our book (Back to Vietnam) and our work and travel in Southeast Asia.

Discussion Questions

  • The story of Lien is a tragic one. Are there passages which particularly evoke pathos?
  • The author makes the point several times in the novel that the norms of acceptable sexual behaviour differ in south East Asia. What is your opinion about these different norms?
  • Did Finding Lien add to your knowledge of sex trafficking? Based on what you already knew about this scourge, do you think that the plot and circumstances of Lien’s abduction and her treatment in the hands of her captors ring true?
  • Girls and young women are sold into slavery, forced marriages and brothels in SE Asia and around the world.  Are you aware of child sex trafficking in Canada/USA? Where does this happen and what forces are behind these practices?
  • Trutch and Catherine’s relationship is tested by the revelation of his affair with Dream. If Catherine were your friend, how would you have advised her to react?
  • Finding Lien is peopled with strong characters, both good and bad…. which character was the most strongly developed in your opinion?
  • Would you have preferred to read an academic or journalistic report on the topic of sex trafficking rather than a novel? Why?
  • What techniques did the author use to build tension throughout the story?
  • There were a number of clearly despicable characters in the story and some surprising deceits. Shank the driver, Khong Kea the monk. Did you foresee these deceptions?