Book Club Discussion Questions

When the Flood Falls Book Club

More complex than a simple whodunit, ‘Flood’ exposes troubled relationships within the small cast of characters: with themselves, with their surroundings, with each other, with the truth. Thematically and symbolically rooted in a wooded valley whose floor is a rising river, the novel takes on Canadian icons like the Rockies, hockey, and the RCMP.

  1. How are Lacey, Jan, & Dee similar? How are they different? Which did you identify most with? Which would you most like to be friends with? 
  2. How do their relationships with each other change during the novel? Are all the changes positive or do you see some negatives? 
  3. Do our main characters’ reactions to Camille, and vice versa, reflect real complexity of women’s attitudes? Do you know anyone who reminds you of Camille, and do you think they have a hidden history that has helped shape them? 
  4. How do the relationships between the men - Terry, Rob, Jake, Mick, Jarrad, and Chris, and to a lesser extent the RCMP men, Tom and Bull - differ from those between the women? What differences and similarities do you see in their attitudes toward the women in their lives?
  5. Jan’s chronic illness is a constant factor in her activities and relationships. In what ways can you relate to her experiences: have you or someone you know been unable to participate fully in some aspects of daily life? 
  6. How is disability viewed in our society? Is asking for help more or less acceptable than offering help? Which do you have more experience with? 
  7. The RCMP and professional hockey are both Canadian icons. What do you think of how the characters involved with them – including Lacey’s past RCMP career – are portrayed?
  8.  The setting is one of contrasts: flat plains and high mountain peaks, serene valley split by raging river, an angular modern building on a natural river bank, beautiful artworks surrounding an ugly murder. Which parts of the settings drew you in, and which disturbed you? 
  9. It’s human nature to suspect people/characters we don’t like, to excuse those we do like, and to overlook those who seem pitiable. How were your suspicions led by your feelings about the various characters? Were you more suspicious of male characters than female? Rich versus poor? Healthy versus ill?

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