I love book clubs, and have belonged to one myself for several years. I'm thrilled and honored when a book club chooses my novel. If you're in the Boston area, I'd be happy to drop in for your discussion. Email me, and we'll talk. I'm also happy to join farther flung book groups via Skype.
The K Street Affair
Questions For Discussion
- In the span of a few weeks Lena experiences a massive, universal tragedy and an intensely personal loss. Which affects her more?
- Is Lena's obsession with justice for Damien at all costs justified?
- Should the government be able to sanction corporations like Clearwater when they act against the country's interests? If so, how?
- Is Henry Redwell's lack of concern for his informant's safety excusable in the service of the mission?
- Do you think Mikhail is more good or bad? How about Korov?
- Should law firms employ lobbyists? Do lobbyists like Acheson, who work to change the laws of the land to benefit their corporate clients, ever add value to the legislative process? Why or why not?
- Do you believe in karma? Did karma save Hannah or was she just ridiculously lucky?
- Is it reasonable to allow our elected officials to invest, even through blind trusts, in entities that act against national interests?
- Lena is a fairly ordinary young professional thrust into an extraordinary ordeal. What would you do if you learned your boss was involved in a heinous crime?
- Should Lena have accepted Smerth's offer to protect her by transferring her to another city? Why or why not?
- Can you think of any actual corporations that routinely profit from war mongering and world instability? If so, are their actions justified so long as they increase profits for shareholders?
- Consider the friendship between Lena, Diana and Hannah. Should Hannah and Diana have shared Lena's account of her meeting with Korov with the authorities? Would doing so have protected Lena? Does keeping a friend's confidences always trump other considerations? Is Lena a bad friend to Hannah and Diana, because the more they know, the more danger they face?
- Is it reasonable for Lena to keep the information about Mikhail's cash gift private?
- Do you think Lena should accept the invitation at the end of the book?
The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken
Questions For Discussion
Due Process Warning: Some questions contain spoilers!
- Zoë has trust issues, but her suspicious tendencies ultimately serve her well. Is a suspicious nature healthy or harmful? Is absolute faith in one's partner a virtue or a vice? What do you think of Angela's advice to trust, but verify?
- If you found yourself in Zoë's shoes, at what point would you voice your suspicions to friends or authorities?
- Did hearing Carol's personal history influence your opinion of her?
- If your boss asked you to do something non-violent but unethical, such as write college essays for his or her child, would you comply? What if refusal meant you would be fired? Into a lousy job market?
- How do you think economic imbalance affects friendships? Intimate relationships? Is there such a thing as economic incompatibility in social relations? Do such imbalances matter more or less as we age?
- Is Angela making a mistake by slowing her career trajectory to have a baby at age 33?
- Do you think some childhoods, such as Oscar's, are so dysfunctional that a person can never fully recover? Is it surprising that Oscar lacks a moral compass?
- Do you think Zoë is right when she says in the last chapter that she and Kevin will end up either married or estranged? Are opposite sex friendships between adults tenable or toxic, if one party harbors romantic feelings for the other?