How far would you go to find home? In Judy Nunn’s latest compelling novel, compassion meets bigotry, hatred meets love, and ultimately despair meets hope on the windswept shores of Australia. Here are some discussion points to get conversation flowing at your book club.
Reading Group Questions
- Judy Nunn has described Sanctuary as, ‘by no means a “romantic” novel, but it is probably the strongest love story I’ve written. Love is the essence of the book.’ Discuss this statement as it relates to the different characters, both on the island and the mainland.
- How do the refugees use their skills and attributes as individuals to help the group as a whole?
- Discuss the way in which Shoalhaven is a mirror reflecting the desires and fears of Australians in general.
- Discuss little Hamid’s journey from innocence to a maturity beyond his years in the novel.
- The group are referred to by some as ‘refugees’ and others as ‘illegal immigrants’. In what ways does the novel seek to show the real people behind the labels.
- Torn between obeying the law and supporting his son, David states: ‘I will not lie.’ What would you have done in his position?
- Were you surprised by the novel’s ending? How did it make you feel?