1. How do women like Norah typically fare in authoritarian societies? Did Blood Lily alter your understanding of life for women under authoritarians?

2. The book describes Dirk Johnson as “a lump of coal” and says “his hairy heft was undeniable.” What kind of a man do you think he is? Why was he so loyal to Nassir?

3. Do you think Norah’s choices at the end of Blood Lily were good ones? Were better options available?

4. Does the book’s ending leave you feeling optimistic about Norah’s future? What kind of future do you see for Norah and Ibrahim?

5. What was the significance of Ibrahim’s statements that he was not odd, but curious?

6. Annie insisted upon carrying a loaded sidearm at all times and confronted a man who was an obvious sexist. What kind of person do you think she is? Did you find her appealing?

7. Abdullah was the Saudi King’s grandson, the King’s physician and the Crown Prince. What kind of king do you think he would make?

8. Why does Norah sometimes speak to us in the first person? Who is she talking to? How do Norah’s monologues tie the story together?

9. Do you think Blood Lily offers a realistic picture of the authoritarians and political conditions in Saudi Arabia and Russia? Or does the author exaggerate to make a point? What is his point?

10. Do you agree with Norah’s statement that we need to better understand the reasons why certain people become authoritarians?

11. What kind of future do you see for Victor Ivanoff? Is he more victim or villain?

12. How is Blood Lily like most thrillers? What aspects of classic thrillers does it draw upon? How does it deviate from the genre and go into new territory?

Written by:   Spencer Stephens

Categories:   Resources