Book Club Discussion Questions

Cooking, traveling, friendship, careers and aging are all topics in the novel with a variety of viewpoints on each issue. Here is a list of questions that may get the discussion going with your book club. You can print the list from this PDF file. I have thoroughly enjoyed attending book club meetings to join in the discussion about The Cooking Class in Kuala Lumpur. You can contact me on the Events and Contact page with questions or requests.

1) Cooking: What does Amy get out of her obsession with cooking? Do any of the other characters share this interest? What other interests do the characters have?

 2) Cuisine: Malaysian cuisine seems to bewitch both Kevin and Amy. Do you think this is a common reaction of vacation travel? What other cuisines are favorites? Have they had this experience before?

 3) Entertaining: What compels people to give parties? What are your worst fears of entertaining? How many things that can go wrong, do go wrong for Amy? Do you know people who have never given a party or never will again?

 4) Travel: Amy and Kevin love to travel. What do they get from the travel experience? Do you think they are missing any aspects?

 5) Employment: All the characters express opinions about working, or not working and career choices. How do they differ? The great recession following the dot bomb is still on the minds of all the characters. How much does age factor into their issues? Which characters’ outlook seem the most realistic to you? 

 6) Friendship: Amy is hurt by an old friend on the day of the party. Does that seem consistent with her point of view on the variety of friendships and how they come and go? What else do you learn about her by the reaction from the others who know about this event?

 7) Marriage: All the characters have or had long-term relationships. What makes them stay together or not? Do you think Alexis’ marriage is in trouble or a cyclical struggle?

 8) Aging: Which characters express no opinion or concerns about aging? Do you know many people who are as worried about aging as Amy is? What did you think of her reaction to the cooking teacher's comfort with her age and stage of life?

 9) Seattle: The setting is an important element in the story. What unique things about Seattle drive or support the story?