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Book club questions for The Wind Knows My Name by Isabel Allende explore the themes of war, immigration, family separation, resilience, and the power of imagination.
What I loved the most about this book is Samuel and Anita’s strength through tough times and their quest for family and home. This is a touching story that reminds us of the power of hope and love, even in the hardest moments.
Let me know your thoughts in the comment section!
The Wind Knows My Name by Isabel Allende
This blog post contains the book club questions for The Wind Knows My Name for discussion with your book club. I have also attached a printable PDF at the bottom of your post for your convenience.
For a complete list of Isabel Allende’s books in order, click here!
Have a wonderful book club discussion! ✨
About the Author
Isabel Allende, a renowned Chilean-American author, is celebrated for her enchanting storytelling that weaves together magical realism and vivid characters.
Fun fact: Did you know that Isabel started writing her debut novel, The House of the Spirits, as a letter to her dying grandfather? This heartfelt letter eventually evolved into her first published work, which not only launched her literary career but also introduced readers to her unique blend of magical realism and familial narratives.
Her profound ability to blend personal experiences with social and historical contexts has garnered her international acclaim and made her a prominent figure in contemporary literature. Allende’s narratives continue to captivate readers, exploring themes of love, feminism, and the human spirit.
- Which themes in The Wind Knows My Name did you connect with the most, and how did they affect your personal experience of the book?
- As you read about the Night of Broken Glass through the Adler family’s eyes, what surprised you about this historical event that you hadn’t known before?
- Music acts as a source of comfort for Samuel. Have you experienced how music can transcend difficult times and soothe your own soul?
- Leticia’s faith in saints like St. Jude and St. Christopher is intriguing. Have you ever found solace or belief in unexpected places during challenging moments?
- The novel shares two immigrant stories. Can you relate to any of their experiences on a personal level, and what makes them unique in your eyes?
- Before reading about it, how familiar were you with the El Mozote massacre? Why do you think some tragedies remain less known, and how did this revelation affect you?
- Samuel and Nadine’s marriage faces a rift due to their differing choices. Which side of this conflict resonates with you, and why?
- What were your first impressions of lawyer Frank Angileri, and did they change as you got to know him better in the story?
- Selena’s practical approach to problem-solving is highlighted. How does this viewpoint compare with your own way of tackling real-world issues?
- The novel alternates between past and present, connecting the stories of Samuel and Anita. Did you find one timeline more compelling than the other? How did these dual narratives enhance your understanding of the characters and their journeys?
- Anita’s escapes into her imaginative world of Azabahar offer a contrast to the harsh realities she faces. Have you ever created a mental or creative refuge during difficult times? How do you see the importance of imagination in coping with adversity?
- How did your feelings about U.S. border policies shift after reading this novel, if at all?
- Samuel and Nadine maintain a 55-year marriage despite challenges. What aspects of their commitment do you find relatable or admirable based on your own views?
- Characters like Samuel, Leticia, and Anita deal with trauma differently. Can you see parts of your own coping strategies in how they handle their hardships?
- What parts of the story, characters, settings, or writing style stood out to you as favorites, and why did you personally enjoy them?
- When you reached the end of The Wind Knows My Name, how did you personally feel, and what lasting impressions did the book leave on you?
“The lives of a Jewish boy escaping Nazi-occupied Europe and a mother and daughter fleeing 21st-century El Salvador intersect in this ambitious, intricate novel about war and immigration. A historical saga that is deeply connected to our present day.”—People
“[Allende is] the queen of magic realism.”—BBC
“Allende is always a must read and readers will queue for her latest mix of history, suspense, emotional insight, social commentary, mysticism, wit, and tenderness.”—Booklist
Hope you enjoyed the book club discussion questions and reading guide for The Wind Knows My Name by Isabel Allende!
Here are some more of my book club recommendations related to this book:
The Spectacular by Fiona Davis
From the New York Times Bestselling Author of The Magnolia Palace: A thrilling story about love, sacrifice, and the pursuit of dreams, set amidst the glamour and glitz of Radio City Music Hall in its mid-century heyday.
New York City, 1956: Nineteen-year-old Marion Brooks knows she should be happy. Her high school sweetheart is about to propose and sweep her off to the life everyone has always expected they’d have together: a quiet house in the suburbs, Marion staying home to raise their future children. But instead, Marion finds herself feeling trapped. So when she comes across an opportunity to audition for the famous Radio City Rockettes—the glamorous precision-dancing troupe—she jumps at the chance to exchange her predictable future for the dazzling life of a performer.
Meanwhile, the city is reeling from a string of bombings orchestrated by a person the press has nicknamed the “Big Apple Bomber,” who has been terrorizing the citizens of New York for sixteen years by planting bombs in popular, crowded spaces. With the public in an uproar over the lack of any real leads after a yearslong manhunt, the police turn in desperation to Peter Griggs, a young doctor at a local mental hospital who espouses a radical new technique: psychological profiling.
As both Marion and Peter find themselves unexpectedly pulled in to the police search for the bomber, Marion realizes that as much as she’s been training herself to blend in—performing in perfect unison with all the other identical Rockettes—if she hopes to catch the bomber, she’ll need to stand out and take a terrifying risk. In doing so, she may be forced to sacrifice everything she’s worked for, as well as the people she loves the most.
The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese
The Covenant of Water is the long-awaited new novel by Abraham Verghese, the author of the major word-of-mouth bestseller Cutting for Stone, which has sold over 1.5 million copies in the United States alone and remained on the New York Times bestseller list for over two years.
Spanning the years 1900 to 1977, The Covenant of Water is set in Kerala, on South India’s Malabar Coast, and follows three generations of a family that suffers a peculiar affliction: in every generation, at least one person dies by drowning—and in Kerala, water is everywhere. At the turn of the century, a twelve-year-old girl from Kerala’s long-existing Christian community, grieving the death of her father, is sent by boat to her wedding, where she will meet her forty-year-old husband for the first time.
From this unforgettable new beginning, the young girl—and future matriarch, known as Big Ammachi—will witness unthinkable changes over the span of her extraordinary life, full of joy and triumph as well as hardship and loss, her faith and love the only constants.
A shimmering evocation of a bygone India and of the passage of time itself, The Covenant of Water is a hymn to progress in medicine and to human understanding, and a humbling testament to the difficulties undergone by past generations for the sake of those alive today. It is one of the most masterful literary novels published in recent years.
Homecoming by Kate Morton
The highly anticipated new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Clockmaker’s Daughter, a sweeping novel that begins with a shocking crime, the effects of which echo across continents and generations
Adelaide Hills, Christmas Eve, 1959: At the end of a scorching hot day, beside a creek on the grounds of a grand country house, a local man makes a terrible discovery. Police are called, and the small town of Tambilla becomes embroiled in one of the most baffling murder investigations in the history of South Australia.
Many years later and thousands of miles away, Jess is a journalist in search of a story. Having lived and worked in London for two decades, she now finds herself unemployed and struggling to make ends meet. A phone call out of nowhere summons her back to Sydney, where her beloved grandmother Nora, who raised Jess when her mother could not, has suffered a fall and is seriously ill in the hospital.
At Nora’s house, Jess discovers a true crime book chronicling a long-buried police case: the Turner Family Tragedy of 1959. It is only when Jess skims through its pages that she finds a shocking connection between her own family and this notorious event – a mystery that has never been satisfactorily resolved.
An epic story that spans generations, Homecoming asks what we would do for those we love, how we protect the lies we tell, and what it means to come home. Above all, it is an intricate and spellbinding novel from one of the finest writers working today.
Feel free to distribute these questions to your book club members before your meeting. Simply click the link below to download and print the PDF file.
Happy reading! ❤️