BOOK CLUB DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Spoiler Alert Warning!
These questions contain story details.
All eyes are on the dams.
The true threat lies elsewhere.
Alex Graham is a mining geologist, a male-dominated profession:
- What do you think it’s like for a woman to work in a profession like this?
- Mining geology often means field work and that can mean weeks or months away from home. How do you think that affects Alex’s relationships?
- In THIRST, Alex is living in a tent in the mountains part of the time. Is that something you think you could do?
- She’s also spending much of her time alone. What does that tell you about her?
- Alex shows early-on that she can take care of herself. Do you believe that she would have shot and killed Trent Walden if Nate Taylor hadn’t shown up?
Loss is a common theme in THIRST:
- Young people in the Slocan Valley protest the military action, sometimes violent, which we’ve seen in cities world-wide. Do you believe they are justified? If not, how do they make themselves heard? And how far is too far?
- Agreements between the United States and Canada provide for each country’s military to help the other in times of crisis or mutual threat. How do you think you would react to another country’s military in your home town?
Desperation drives many of the characters in this story to act in ways they would never otherwise consider:
- Do you think Dr. Eric Keenan did the right thing when he disobeyed a direct order from his Chief of Staff? What about his visit to his patient’s home?
- How do you feel about Alex’s decision to lie to Eric and Nate Taylor?
- What about Olivia Taylor’s decision to involve herself in the violent protests?
- RCMP Corporal Nate Taylor crosses the line to protect his daughter. Do you believe he intentionally killed Trent Walden? Do you believe he could have killed Alex if he thought it would save his daughter?
- What about Trent Walden? He failed to protect his son, and that led him to seek out revenge in a heinous way. Do you see him as a man whose grief pushes him to such desperate acts?
An incredible discovery.
A race for the truth.
Alex Graham is a mining geologist, a job that can be especially challenging for a woman:
- Mining geology often means field work and that can mean weeks or months away from home. Alex’s relationship with Dr. Eric Keenan is still new; how do you think her time away from home will affect that relationship?
- The Novoteras miners, Paulo and Benjamin, refuse to go into the mine with Alex because of a superstition about a woman in the mine bringing bad luck. This is reality for some women mining geologists. What would your reaction be?
- In THIRST, Alex showed us that she can take care of herself, but in BLUE FIRE she takes desperate measures to take care of Mosi Ongeti. Do you think she took too many risks? Would you have done the same?
Gem smuggling is at the heart of BLUE FIRE:
- You may have heard about conflict diamonds, but other gemstones also fund terrorism, illegal arms deals, and war. Why do you think conflict diamonds get most of the attention? Should that change?
- Laser-etched identification that tracks a diamond back to its source is now in common use. Do you believe this deters crime?
- The cutting-edge research into gem fingerprinting is mentioned. How might this change the illegal trade in gems?
- Mine and government officials turn a blind-eye, accept a cut of the profits or other bribes, to allow illegal mines to operate. What can be done?
Alex has known Mosi Ongeti since childhood, and she loves him like a brother:
- Alex and Mosi live a half-a-world apart and seldom see each other, yet they maintain a strong bond. Why?
- Do you think Mosi thinks of Alex as a little sister, or does he treat her more like a daughter?
- Alex and Mosi are fiercely loyal to each other and they both risk their lives to save the other, but Mosi’s loyalty is divided. Why did he keep his conversation with Brian in Brazil, secret from Alex?
- Mosi makes some interesting choices after spotting the tracker in his village. Discuss his disappearance, an action that left his wife and Alex fearing for his life. What motivated him? Did he do enough to keep Alex safe? What do his actions tell you about his relationship with his wife?
We meet Alex’s father, Brian Graham, in BLUE FIRE:
- Alex doesn’t hesitate to fly to Brazil after little more than a cryptic message from her dad, Brian Graham. What does that tell you about their relationship?
- Do you believe he made foolish choices or is there more to his actions in South American than Alex knows?
- Why do you think she decided to follow in her dad’s footsteps to become a geologist?