Occasionally we choose a book for our Reading Group for which I can find no questions on the internet. It really helps the conversation if we have some questions to focus our discussion. Here are some questions I’ve come up with for The Wall by William Sutcliffe. Feel free to add any more suggestions in the comments.
THE WALL by William Sutcliffe
Is this book something you would normally read? Did it win you over?
The book is written for young adults? Did that put you off?
The author says: “What I actually wanted to do is write the story of a kid brought up living a fantasy who happens across reality. For me, that was a lot more interesting.” What is the fantasy about Joshua’s life?
The author is himself a Jew, so why do you think he wrote a book which was quite critical about Israel?
Did you find the story believable?
Why do you think he chose a young boy to be the main character and not an adult? Joshua is 13 – the age a Jewish boy comes of age – so do you think he grows up in the novel? In what way?
What did you think about Joshua’s mother? Did you think she was weak?
What about his step-father?
Were there any bits you didn’t like?
It took great courage to go through the tunnel. What gave Joshua the courage to go again?
Did the life of Leila and her family shock you?
Why do you think Joshua took over looking after the olive and lemon groves? What were his motives? Did he make things worse or better for Leila’s family?
The author said “But it was really important to the authenticity of the book that it wasn’t a ‘everyone can be friends across the barbed wire’ kind of story. I guess I have an optimism about people rather than politicians – and a belief that most people want to live ordinary lives in peace.” Do you agree?
What did you think of the ending? Was it what you expected?