This reading group guide for The Simple Wild includes discussion questions and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.Topics & Questions for Discussion
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1. If you were to move to Bangor, Alaska, what luxury would be the hardest for you to live without?
2. Calla and Jonah both feel strongly about the benefits of their preferred living environment. What are some of the advantages of living in a city? What are some of the upsides of living in a more rural area?
3. The book’s title, The Simple Wild,
is echoed in characters’ descriptions of Alaska. Discuss what you think “simple” means in this context. Why do you think the author chose this title? What is its significance in the novel?
4. Calla goes through a number of life-changing experiences, including meeting her father in person for the first time since she was a toddler, traveling around rural Alaska and seeing how people live there, her father’s illness, and meeting Jonah. How do Calla, Jonah, and Wren’s characters develop over the course of the book as a result of these experiences?
5. For Wren and Susan, their respective desires about where to live were deal breakers, despite their love for each other. What are your deal breakers? Are there things about your life that you would be unwilling to let go of if your partner or a potential partner wouldn’t or couldn’t agree to them, no matter how much you loved that person?
6. Simon serves as a voice of reason for Calla and is able to remain objective and compassionate, despite being emotionally involved both as her stepfather and as Susan’s husband. Although he doesn’t share his feelings with Calla, what do you think this story was like from his perspective?
7. As Calla gets to know her father, there is a lot of discussion of regret, both his own regrets in life and the possibility that Calla could regret not spending more time with him if he doesn’t survive his illness. Do you think Calla’s decisions helped alleviate remorse on either side, or is it in some way unavoidable for each of them to experience?
8. After Jonah’s plane crashes, Calla’s mother, Susan, tells her about the constant anxiety she had about Wren’s safety in his work as a bush pilot. Jonah plans to continue to work as a bush pilot for the rest of his life. How do you think this will affect his relationship with Calla in the future? Will Calla develop the same anxieties her mother held?
9. Ultimately, Jonah attempts to find a compromise that he and Calla will both be happy with. Do you think they will be able to make their relationship work?Enhance Your Book Club
1. Invite your book club members to attend dressed for the Alaskan wilderness, complete with flannel and rain boots, and have someone bring jerky to snack on (though perhaps not muskrat
2. When Jonah hides Calla’s beauty products, she is forced to adjust to going out without makeup on. If you usually wear makeup, consider challenging yourself to go a week without it. Do activities you would normally wear makeup for: running errands, getting together with friends, even dressing up for a party or event. Share with your book group how the challenge made you feel. Did your awareness of it or feelings about it shift over the course of the week? Were there any times you felt more self-conscious? More confident? What were other people’s reactions to your makeup-free week?
3. Consider reading another of K.A. Tucker’s page-turning novels for your next book club meeting. For another compelling contemporary romance, your group is sure to love Until It Fades
, or if you’re interested in a thrilling romantic suspense novel, you can check out Keep Her Safe
. Visit K.A. Tucker’s website www.katuckerbooks.com
to learn more about her and her books, or follow K.A. Tucker on Twitter @kathleenatucker, or Facebook at www.facebook.com/K.A.Tucker.Author