> Skip to content

Book clubs  •  29 March 2017

 

Congo Dawn book club notes

Transport your book club to Africa with Katherine Scholes’ Congo Dawn.

A landmark novel about good and evil, and the inexhaustible power of love; an unforgettable story filled with drama, conflict and deep emotion – Katherine Scholes’ Congo Dawn has all the hallmarks of a book club hit. Here are some questions kick off a memorable reading group meet-up.


Discussion points and questions:
 

  • What did you make of Anna’s decision to head to the Congo, and then deeper into the jungle? Did she really have any choice?
  • At the lakeside hotel Eliza tells Anna that ‘the journey itself will have meaning’. How is this proven true in the story?
  • When Dan joins the Commando unit he is told, ‘It will be the most important thing you will do in your life.’ Do you agree?
  • Anna comes to understand that some of her feelings stem from ‘the part of a girl’s heart that belongs to her father’. Discuss the significance of the father–daughter relationship in the novel.
  • Dan forgives Marion for leaving him. Can you?  
  • When Dan saves the life of a Simba rebel, he briefly questions his own actions. Do you think it is possible to do the right thing and the wrong thing, both at the same time?
  • If violence breeds violence, can love do the same? In what ways is this idea played out in Congo Dawn?
  • There are many different battles in the book – people fight physical foes, but also fear, disease, ignorance, guilt, deception. Can you identify other forms of conflict in the novel?
  • The mercenary soldiers are all fictitious, but were partly inspired by real people who fought in the Congo. Can you understand someone making this choice?
  • The Congo jungle is experienced very differently by the various characters in the book. Describe the contrasting relationships with reference to the local people, the missionaries, the mercenary soldiers, the Simbas, Anna, Dan and Eliza.
  • Discuss the symbolism of the leopard.
  • By the end of the book, which characters have come to gain more than they lose?

 


Congo Dawn Katherine Scholes

An unforgettable story filled with drama, conflict and deep emotion.

Buy now
Buy now

More features

See all
Q&A
Katherine Scholes Q&A

The bestselling author on her unyielding love affair with the African continent.

Article
Creating Congo Dawn

Katherine Scholes reflects on writing uncharted territory.

Book clubs
Secrets My Father Kept book club notes

A captivating novel about love, sacrifice, secrets and resilience that's perfect for book club.

Book clubs
Echolalia book club notes

What could drive a mother to do the unthinkable?

Book clubs
Lovebirds book club notes

A pick for book club that's warm, witty and wise.

Book clubs
The Chase book club notes

Track down your reading group to discuss Candice Fox's latest thriller.

Book clubs
The Emporium of Imagination book club notes

A beautiful and uplifting story to share with your reading group.

Book clubs
Becoming: Adapted for Younger Readers

Book club discussion questions and teaching resources.

Book clubs
The Jam Queens book club notes

With IVF treatments, a family trip on the Ghan and some award winning jam, there's plenty to unpack with your reading group.

Book clubs
The Silent Listener book club notes

Take your reading group into the dark, gothic heart of rural Australia.

Book clubs
Like Mother book club notes

Explore themes of motherhood, secrets and family lore with your book club.

Book clubs
A Glasshouse of Stars book club notes

An exquisite, heartbreakingly beautiful gem of a novel for anyone who loved Wonder, Lenny's Book of Everything, A Monster Calls or When You Reach Me.

Looking for more book club notes?

See all book club notes