‘Igboland’: Book Group Questions

Igboland cover6 ‘Igboland’ is inspired by my Mum’s diary from when my parents lived out in Nigeria for six years during the Biafran War. Their story is very different to that of Lydia and Clem, but the anecdotes, photos, letters and journal helped me to make the setting and context as accurate as possible. The novel itself explores love, marriage, faith and personal identity. The characters respond to the traditions and culture they find themsleves part of and have some very difficult decisions to make.

  1. How important is it that the narrative voice is that of an English woman?

1102 in residence

  1. What does the novel have to say about female identity? Can a man really write a novel from a woman’s perspective?

1028 Judith Omafu

  1. How is Protestant Christian faith explored? How do you feel about Christian missionaries going to other countries?

1032a bucket baptism

  1. What do you feel you have learned about Igbo culture and ‘Odinani’? Does it have anything to teach us?

box 1117 Idoma juju

  1. How important is the cultural and geographical setting to the narrative? Have you ever experienced a culture shock? How did you feel?

1069 Old Zaria

  1. The Biafran War continues throughout the novel in the background. Simplistically put, it was a civil war between the northern Muslim states and the Igbos in the south. Is the war typical of any other war? Is it an integral part of the novel or not? Does it symbolise anything?

box 1088 road to Oturkpo


  1. How are the themes of marriage and family explored in ‘Igboland’? Is there a moral or message being offered, or is it left ambiguous?

box 1014 Idoma village


  1. Which of the characters are sympathetic or otherwise? What is their purpose in the novel? (Consider: Clem, Grace, Kwemto, Matthew, Mr Okadonye, Charlotte)

box 1066 Zonkwa station


  1. Is the ending satisfactory? What feelings did you have while reading the novel?

1025 Dispensary


10.  Do you have any questions you’d like to ask the author? (His table manners have improved slightly since this picture was taken)

1131b Jeff

I am keen to hear any feedback you may have from your discussions. Please add comments below and I’ll be happy to respond to any questions and thoughts you have.



2 thoughts on “‘Igboland’: Book Group Questions”

  1. Thanks for providing the questions. I just got a new Kindle Paperwhite, and I made certain to put the free chapters I’d downloaded with the option to buy on it. Having read your guest spot of Chris TSTR’s site, and now Cynthia Harrrison’s review, I think this book will be right up my alley! I’ve always been curious about life and values in other parts of the world, so it seemed very natural to me when I was awarded a scholarship to attend one of the United World Colleges for a two-year International Baccalaureate program. We studied World Literature, and I recall reading the play Sizwe Bansi is Dead by Athol Fugard in 1987. We had both a white South African and a black South African student in that class and Mandela was still in prison. You can imagine it generated some heated discussions! Anyway, I just wanted to say that I look forward to reading Igboland. I’ve moved it to the top of my to-be-read pile, right after a handful of other books I’ve promised to read.


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