Book Club Questions: No Place To Run
Has your book club read No Place To Run, my exhilarating thriller about Aidan who has spent years looking for his sister after she disappeared while visiting him in Seattle. Could the young woman spotted being chased across a forest clearing really be Scarlett? Will he ever find her? Would you like to suggest it to them?
I’ve pulled together a list of questions and possible discussion points that might help you. If you can think of any more great questions, please leave a comment – or let me know what your book group thought of my novel.
Do not read these questions if you haven’t already read No Place To Run because they contain major spoilers regarding the plot and the characters, including the ending.
Aidan’s sister has been missing for two years. How do you think people cope when a family member or friend goes missing? If a member of your family or a close friend went missing, what do you think you might do to try and find them?
The book covers the topic of climate change. What are your thoughts on climate change? How much do you believe it’s going to destroy the planet? In the book, Shannon reveals she knows recycling won’t save the planet so uses plastic bottles. Do you think recycling helps in any way?
Part of the plot involves the California wildfires and the loss of homes and vegetation. What do you think it feels like to be in that situation and living with the threat of a natural disaster occuring?
Kristin is forced to give up her personal possessions when she arrives at The Ranch. How do you think you would cope with material deprivation and having no phone, make-up etc?
The book touches on the subject of sibling rivalry when Scarlett feels her brother Aidan was the golden child and is loved more than her. Do you have siblings? How did you get on with your brother(s)/sister(s)? Was there rivalry? As a parent, how do you prevent this from happening with your children?
Protests like the one Aidan and Scarlett see in Seattle are a common occurrence against climate change with activists involved in groups such as Extinction Rebellion which have eco-terrorist training camps. What are your thoughts and feelings about them and people involved taking drastic action such as chaining or glueing themselves to railings/buildings/objects? How do you feel about camps that teach people such things?
Mayor Christopher Hood installs spyware on his daughter Elizabeth’s phone to read messages. What do you think about parents doing this? Is it an invasion of privacy or for their own safety? Would you ever do this? If so, why? Discuss. . .
When Aidan decides to look for Scarlett, he teams up with Lana and they become vigilantes taking the law into their own hands. Can you understand why they both might do this having both ‘lost’ loved ones?
In the book Lana and Aidan find Samuel working at Sugar Magnolia Farm, a cannabis growing site. Cannabis was legalised in California in 2016, what do you feel about legalisation of drugs? Do you think it has a good or bad effect on society? Discuss. . .
Shannon creates The Ranch where she gets recruits to sign over large sums of money to join in return for becoming part of an extreme group who will survive the end of the world. Do you think these eco groups are conducting a form of brainwashing and are similar to a cult?
In her past Shannon took part in a ritual where she took a hallucinogenic called ayahuasca and had a vision about the world ending. This leads her to be convinced it’s her mission to create The Cradle and repopulate the Earth. Why do you think she believes this? Do you think she has a God complex/Narcissistic personality disorder? Why do you think she is like this? Has her past had an effect on her?
Jimmy finally realises that Shannon is deluded and attempts to escape with Aidan. Even Shannon begins to think that maybe she’s made a mistake creating The Cradle and living underground. What do you think caused them to question their beliefs?
The book spends time in The Cradle where both Aidan and Shannon struggle with being so far underground. How would you cope if you had to live in a geoscraper/survival bunker? What would you miss?
At the end of the book Scarlett pretends to be ‘back to normal’ and to be glad to be away from The Ranch. Really she wants to reunite with Shannon. Why do you think she still has such strong beliefs after everything that has happened? How do you think you can reason with someone who is brainwashed? How can you get them to change their thought processes?