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|The questions that
follow are intended to enhance your group's reading and discussion of A
THE ATLAS OF FORGOTTEN PLACES by Jenny Williams
Warning: spoiler alert! To preserve enjoyment of the novel, please
review this section after you’ve finished the book.
1. How much did you know about northern Uganda before you read the
novel? Do you feel like your perspective has changed?
2. Who did you connect with more, Rose or Sabine?
3. What is justice in this novel? Can wrongs be righted?
4. Did Rose’s revelation about her ties to Joseph Kony take you by
surprise? Would it have changed the way you felt about her if you knew
the truth from the start?
5. Sabine’s career choice was shaped in large part by her guilt over her
grandfather’s secret. Do you have family secrets or parts of your family
history that have influenced your choices in life?
6. Was Lily’s decision to search for Opiyo noble, or was it selfish?
What if she had been investigating ivory smuggling—would that change how
you see her?
7. What does forgiveness mean to you? Can a person be forgiven for many
years of wrong acts by a single good act? What about the reverse? Should
a person be condemned for a single wrong act after many years of doing
8. The Aboke abductions in 1996 were given little attention by the US
media. On the other hand, the 2014 kidnapping of 276 Nigerian
schoolgirls by Boko Haram sparked worldwide outrage and demand for
international action—the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls was even shared by
First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama. Do you think this
disparity can be attributed solely to the rise of social media? Or have
attitudes shifted in the 18 years between these incidents?
9. Do you think a single person can make a difference? Why would it be
dangerous to think so? Why would it be dangerous not to think so?
10. What do you think lies ahead for the characters in this novel?
11. The author has said that she feels the novel ends hopefully, if not
happily. Do you agree? Why or why not?