MLA Gold Award Site

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
  • 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

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Atomic Weight of Love
    The Atomic Weight of Love
    by Elizabeth Church
    A prologue set in 2011 introduces readers to this novel's unforgettable narrator. Meridian ...
  • Book Jacket: Murder at the 42nd Street Library
    Murder at the 42nd Street Library
    by Con Lehane
    It doesn't matter if you're stopping in your favorite library to quickly pick up a book, or settling...
  • Book Jacket: The Loney
    The Loney
    by Andrew Hurley
    Landscape can be a writer's best friend. Whether it's the mountains of England's lake...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper
    by Phaedra Patrick

    In a poignant and sparkling debut, a lovable widower embarks on a life-changing adventure.

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Win this book!
Win The Children

From NYT bestselling author Ann Leary

The captivating story of an unconventional New England family.

Enter

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Girl Waits with Gun
by Amy Stewart

An enthralling novel based on the forgotten true adventures of one of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Word Play

Solve this clue:

I I A Greek T M

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.