If you are interested in reading “This Shall Be a House of Peace” as part of a book club, I’d love to connect with you. I’m based in Toronto, and could potentially join you for a discussion if you are nearby. If not, then I could discuss with you over FaceTime or Skype. Get in touch with me using the contact form here on my website.

Also, here are some questions to get your discussion started:

  • What stereotypes about Afghanistan did the book dispel for you? Were there any that it reinforced?
  • The Mullah leads his followers on a moral journey as he tries to navigate politics and survival. How far might you have gone along with his decisions? Was there a clear breaking point?
  • A key theme of the book is how boys grow into adulthood. Are there parallels between your own observations/experience of this process in Western culture and the experience described in the book?
  • The Taliban still enjoy popular support in many parts of Afghanistan. What reasons for this are suggested by the book, given their brutality?
  • If the Mullah had agreed that Wasif would be tried for the death of Jan Farooq, how would the ending of the story have changed?
  • If the Mullah had declined to get involved with the village at all, what would have resulted? Would the other characters likely have been better or worse off?
  • Which character did you find the most relatable? Why?
  • Do you have different opinions about Afghanistan and the ongoing conflict than you did before reading the book?