Reading guide for Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Forgotten Country

by Catherine Chung

Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2012, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2013, 304 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. How do you interpret the book's title, Forgotten Country? What has been forgotten and how does that affect the characters and their decisions?


  2. How do the folktales and past family histories woven together with the present-day narrative work together to tell a complete story?


  3. Secrets and truth are hidden or revealed in varying degrees throughout the novel. What are some of these truths and secrets? What motivates the characters to hide the truth or seek it out?


  4. Forgiveness, and the inability to forgive, is a theme that runs through the book. What is forgiven and what isn't - and why? Do you agree with characters or not in what they choose to forgive?


  5. Hannah and Janie argue about Simchung, the protagonist of Janie's favorite folktale. Hannah says the tale teaches girls to sacrifice themselves. Do you think that's a fair criticism? What else does the tale, as well as the others in the book, teach and how do you think growing up with folktales affected each of the girls? What stories did you grow up with and how did they help you form your identity?


  6. Is there a hero in this story? Who would you say he or she is and why?


  7. Have the sisters come to an understanding at the end of the story? How has their relationship changed? How has your own understanding of the family changed?


  8. What is each character's relationship to Korea or America and how do these relationships differ? To what extent does each character belong or not belong to his or her country, culture, or family?


  9. Loss and sacrifice are major themes in the novel. How do you think loss and sacrifice bring the family closer together? How do you think they push the family apart?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Riverhead Books. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  The Kwangju Massacre

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hunger
    Hunger
    by Roxane Gay
    In this penetrating and fearless memoir, author Roxane Gay discusses her battle with body acceptance...
  • Book Jacket: The Black Witch
    The Black Witch
    by Laurie Forest
    In The Black Witch, Laurie Forest introduces her readers to an immersive fantasy world where ...
  • Book Jacket: See What I Have Done
    See What I Have Done
    by Sarah Schmidt
    Sarah Schmidt's historical fictionalization of the Lizzie Borden story is a tsunami. From the ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt

Cruel Beautiful World examines the intricate, infinitesimal distance between seduction and love, loyalty and duty.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Heart's Invisible Furies
    by John Boyne

    A sweeping, heartfelt saga set in Ireland from the author of The Boy In the Striped Pajamas.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Hame

Hame by Annalena McAfee

A rich, sultry novel about a young American fleeing a crumbling marriage for a remote Scottish island.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A F Out O W

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.