FAR AWAY HOME and the sequel, EMBRACE THE WIND, are popular book club reads. I am available to Skype into book club meetings. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your request.
FAR AWAY HOME BOOK CLUB QUESTIONS
1-In the first chapter, we met Aislynn and the three men who played important roles in her life. What were your first impressions of these men and did your opinions change? If so, why?
2-There were many references to the roles of women in Aislynn’s nineteenth century society. What was your reaction to Aislynn’s responsibilities to her father and the Nolans? What do you think about the role of women in Aislynn’s time and how do they differ today?
3-At the beginning of the novel, Aislynn was quite naïve about many things. Do you think her ignorance helped her get through the trials that lay ahead?
4-How did you feel about Aislynn’s relationship with Johnny? Tim? Liam? Why do you think Aislynn’s feelings toward Johnny, Tim and Liam changed?
5-What role did religion play in Aislynn’s life? Did it help guide her actions or did it get in her way? Do you think the role of religion as changed since Aislynn’s time?
6-What was your reaction to the cross country trip? What was the most difficult part? What did you learn about the pioneers from her trip?
7-Aislynn faced a good number of challenges. Did you agree with her methods of achieving her goals?
8-Aislynn encountered Mormons, Blacks, Jews and Native Americans when she ventured into the West. Did her interactions with these people surprise you? Do you think they were appropriate for the time?
9-A mining camp had a very unique social structure. Did Aislynn fit in? Why or why not?
10-The ending of FAR AWAY HOME was quite controversial. What is your opinion?
EMBRACE THE WIND BOOK CLUB QUESTIONS
1-In the first chapter, Sage explained Wyoming’s progressive laws granting women privileges found nowhere else in the world. What was your reaction to this revelation? How did you feel about the notion that “Women will conquer the Wild West”?
2-Compare and contrast the men in Aislynn's life (Tim, Johnny, Liam and Sage). What did each one contribute to Aislynn's development as a woman?
3-Do you think Liam had the right to know about the baby? Was Aislynn justified in deciding to raise the child alone?
4-Aislynn jumped at the chance to teach the Sioux children even though she has no qualifications. Would you have done the same thing if you were her position? Do you think the treaty and its requirement for educating Native American children was a good idea?
5-Sage and Aislynn developed a unique friendship. Would you have warmed to an older, wild-looking, untamed, violent man like Sage?
6-Sage told Aislynn, “I know sometimes you do the wrong thing for the right reason, but you gotta stop.” Why do you think Sage tolerated Aislynn’s willfulness, disobedience and talent for stretching the truth?
7-Aislynn helped Jimmy and the other cowboys. When Jimmy left, Sage said everyone has evil lurking deep inside. Was he right? Do you agree with Sage that Jimmy had to hang?
8-Joan’s cousin Virginia and her son, Daniel, were abused by Mr. Brett. Did Aislynn and Joan do the right thing helping them escape? What do you think would have happened to her if Joan and Aislynn had not rescued them?
9-Joan explained to Aislynn, "When a woman is injured, she's a saint; when she's raped, she's a whore." Do you believe that this is still the case in today's society? Why or why not? How did you feel about Cap’s comment that men have some work to do on themselves?
10-If you had been Aislynn, would you have been afraid to vote?
11-When Brendan was born, Aislynn told Joan she felt alone and afraid. Joan said a man won’t necessarily make it easier. Do you agree?
12-In the United States, interracial marriage was not protected under the federal law until 1967; however, Governor Campbell tried to pass a law to legitimize marriage between the races in 1869. Would this law have helped Molly and Tommy? Do you think interracial marriage is accepted today?
13-At the end of FAR AWAY HOME, Liam cut off discussion with Aislynn, walked out and left her. When he arrived in Cheyenne, his view was that she left him. Was he right? Did he have a “claim” on her? Do you think Liam wanted children? If he had warmed to Brendan, what should she have done?