For Readers & Book Clubs

book cover

Gentle Readers: Please write me if you have read A Place in the World and tell me what you liked and didn’t like about it.   I will gladly answer any questions you may have. 

 “A PLACE IN THE WORLD”

Ideas for Questions and Topics to Discuss (warning: may contain “spoilers’!)

1. What is the significance of the title beyond its literal meaning?  Could you relate? What themes do you see?

2. Carmen and Alicia are separated by class, culture and education.  What binds the two?

3. Discuss the different personalities of the Carvallo family.

4. What part does sexism play?  Do you think it was cultural or just a part of the times?  Does Alicia handle it as you would?

5. How much of the failure of the marriage is due to Jorge and Alicia and how much to external factors?

6. Did it bother you that Peter was an exploration geologist?  Discuss his conflict about loving his job, but worrying about the consequences of a big find.

wfall Hana Rd_840ps

7. One reviewer wrote “the rainforest (cloud forest) itself is the book’s most detailed and compelling character”.  How did you feel about this?

8. Describe your response to the novels’ ending.  Do you feel Alicia made the right decision or did you think she had to give up too much? Would you rather she had struggled on her own?

9. The novel could have ended with her disappearing on a Colombian road – as happened to many at that time.  How would you have felt about that ending?

A man and his llama

A man and his llama

10. Was your perception of Colombia marred or enhanced by the book?  Tourism is on the rebound as guerrilla activity and other dangers have subsided.  Would you consider visiting?

Cerro Monserrate  - where Alicia and Jorge got married.

Cerro Monserrate – where Alicia and Jorge got married.

If you enjoyed reading A Place  in the World please consider leaving an honest review on  Amazon/reviews or Goodreads-writerevu (drop me a line if you need instructions). CM

Indian women selling their wares outside the cathedral

Indian women selling their wares

dona Claudia talking to some natives

dona Claudia talking to some natives

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4 thoughts on “For Readers & Book Clubs

  1. I did visit Colombia recently and found it was realistically depicted (even though set a few decades earlier) in your novel. It is a beautiful country with warm people and I could see how Alicia fell in love with it and made it her home.

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  2. #8 I think realistically she made the right decision. How long can you keep “beating your head against the wall” to prove you belong? According to the Epilogue she ….
    (sorry this contains a spoiler! CCM)

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    • Thanks for your comment TCK.
      (For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a “TCK” stands for A Third Culture Kid.) According to sociologist David C. Pollock
      “ A TCK is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture. The TCK usually has relationships to all of the cultures (they have lived in), while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture may be assimilated into the TCK’s life experience, the sense of belonging is (lacking).”
      Alicia was a TCK and this is a theme in the book.

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