Camino Wandering Discussion Guide for Book Clubs

Camino Wandering focuses on Aubrey, Pam and Georgina, as they walk the Camino Francés, an 800 kilometre trail across northern Spain. Not only do they struggle with their physical baggage, but also their emotional baggage too. Bringing other characters (pilgrims) into the story gives each of them different perspectives, but they question, too, why these younger pilgrims walk with the trail along with them. Soon enough, it is revealed. But along the way, all three women dig into why they are walking the Camino. It’s not always as it seems. And it remains unknown whether they take that knowledge home with them.

WARNING: SPOILER ALERTS

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. The novel is from Aubrey’s point of view and it’s her story that remains a mystery for much of the novel. Should Aubrey have shared her full truth with Pam and Georgina from the start?
  2. How would the story change if told from Georgina’s or Pam’s perspective?
  3. Both Pam and Georgina brought too much weight in their packs, while Aubrey was sure she brought just enough. How does the contents of their packs reflect who they are?
  4. Was Tom’s character necessary to Aubreys story? Why/Why not?
  5. What do you foresee happening to the other pilgrims mentioned in the book? Why are their stories important?
  6. What factors do each of the secondary characters bring to the story – Ben, Paolo, Hannah, Marinka and Lee?
  7. Parenting is a theme that runs throughout the story – from The Lovelies upbringing, to Georgina’s and Aubrey’s relationship with their children, through to Hannah’s decision. Why was this important to the storyline?
  8. Does Ben adopt Hannah’s baby? Why or why not?
  9. Aubrey believes that her daughter’s spirit guides her. Do you believe that is true? What source of hope did she have before beginning this walk? Why was her daughter’s presence important to the storyline?
  10. Could Pam have left Mick earlier? What bound her to stay with him and what kept her in the marriage? Why couldn’t she leave? Do you feel Pam’s anger at the Catholic Church is justified? Does she reconcile her anger by the end of the book?
  11. Georgina’s marriage to Patrick touches on underlining mental health issues. Discuss the stigma for men around mental health and how they may or may not be changing. Does that differ from how women manage it?
  12. Addiction and depression were also things Aubrey has dealt with. Do you think these are issues we need to be more open in talking about and why?
  13. While in Viana, Aubrey felt a malevolent presence. What do you think caused that? Have you ever felt that yourself?
  14. What lessons do you think the characters took away from their interactions with one another?
  15. What did Aubrey see as her “purpose” for walking the Camino? Did that change as they walked?
  16. How did Aubrey’s intuition influence her decisions throughout the story?