A Place for Us is an emotional read about a Muslim American family struggling with tradition and culture. The following book club questions will have spoilers so if you haven’t read the novel yet, check out my preview and review first.
As an Indian wedding gathers a family back together, parents Rafiq and Layla must reckon with the choices their children have made. There is Hadia: their headstrong, eldest daughter, whose marriage is a match of love and not tradition. Huda, the middle child, determined to follow in her sister’s footsteps. And lastly, their estranged son, Amar, who returns to the family fold for the first time in three years to take his place as brother of the bride. What secrets and betrayals have caused this close-knit family to fracture? Can Amar find his way back to the people who know and love him best?
Let’s get into the book club questions
- We read the story from multiple perspectives and it jumps back and forth in time. What did you think about this writing style and how did it help serve the story?
- We really get to know the characters in this read. Let’s focus on Amar, Hadia, Layla and Rafiq for a bit. What were your initial impressions of them and did that change at all as the book went on? Why do you think the author chose not to focus much on Huda, the middle child?
- Amar never felt like he fit in. What are some events that happen to him that made him feel this way? What role did his parents and sister have in it?
- The story is split between four different parts. Which part stood out to you the most? Which one the least?
- Rafiq is quite complicated, we mostly see him as a very strict, traditional parent. But then, in part four, we get to know him and his perspective. Did you sympathize with him at all during that section?
- Amar and Amira fall in love but their relationship is doomed from the start. Would it have been different if Amar was more traditional? In your opinion, why did Layla seek to stop the relationship, what was she afraid of? How would Amar’s story been different if we could have been with Amira?
- Why did Amar run away? Why did he never come back? Did you understand why he left the family or do you think he was wrong? Do you think his family should have done more to find him?
- Let’s talk about Rafiq’s father’s watch. What was the symbolism of him giving the watch to Hadia? How did in impact Amar?
- Much of the novel is focused on the conflict between tradition and rebellion. Did you relate to that in any way?
- What do you think the title, A Place For Us, represents?
Next on my TBR (to be read) list
If you need any book recommendations for your book club, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!