Reading Group Guide: Trail of Crumbs

by Kim Sunee

Questions for Your Next Reading Group

  • In what ways is this a universal story, despite its unique circumstances?
  • “My early memories are always related to hunger,” Kim says early in her
    story. Discuss the metaphorical hunger that is at the heart of her
  • One of the first identities given Kim in her adopted life is that of “official
    taster” by her beloved Poppy. What impact do you see on her subsequent
    understanding of self?
  • What is the importance of recipes throughout the book? What do they
    reveal about the author’s journey of discovery?
  • How does geography affect Kim’s developing identity? Why does she feel she belongs in some places and not in others?
  • What do Kim and Olivier offer each other? What can they never give each other? Why must Kim ultimately leave him?
  • Madame Song tells Kim that she’s not abandoned but “very, very lost.” What does she mean, and what is the distinction? How does Kim’s sense of being lost manifest itself?
  • Is it true, as one of Kim’s friends asserts, that “you can’t be from nowhere”? Where, in the end, does Kim find “home”?
  • Was there any point during the book at which you wanted to tell Kim something? Words of advice, warning, or reassurance, for example? When?
  • What did you expect to come out of Kim’s trip to Korea? Were you surprised? Disappointed?
  • Throughout the book, Kim’s writing engages and involves all five senses. Which of these was most compelling for you? Why?

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Copyright 2008 by Hachette Book Group USA