Reading Group Guide: The Son of the House - Dundurn
Oct 07, 2021

Reading Group Guide: The Son of the House

Not only is it the best time of year, it’s also National Reading Group Month! We love a good book chat, whether it be virtual or in-person, but choosing a book and coming up with discussion questions can be difficult sometimes.

Luckily for you, we’ve already done the work! The Son of the House by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia is the perfect book for your next book club meet.

In the Nigerian city of Enugu, young Nwabulu, a housemaid since the age of ten, dreams of becoming a typist as she endures her employers’ endless chores. She is tall and beautiful and in love with a rich man’s son.

Educated and privileged, Julie is a modern woman. Living on her own, she is happy to collect the gold jewellery lovestruck Eugene brings her, but has no intention of becoming his second wife.

When a kidnapping forces Nwabulu and Julie into a dank room years later, the two women relate the stories of their lives as they await their fate.

Pulsing with vitality and intense human drama, Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia’s debut is set against four decades of vibrant Nigeria, celebrating the resilience of women as they navigate and transform what remains a man’s world.

Get your copy today from our website here, or:

Your Local Bookstore Bookshop  |  Indigo  |  Amazon  |  Book Depository

Questions for Discussion

1. Which plays the most critical role in the way the characters develop? Gender or social class?

2. The novel is set in Igbo land in Nigeria. Did the setting resonate with you? Do you think the patriarchal attitudes depicted in the book are universal? 

3. Which of the characters do you find yourself thinking about often?

4. What did you make of the choices facing Julie and the choices she made?

5. Do you see any similarities in Julie and Nwabulu?

6. What did you think of the end of the book? How does the story actually end?

7. The Son of the House explores female friendships and women helping each other. What did you make of this? How does this play out in real life? 

8. The Son of the House is a book primarily about women. What is the significance of the title?

9. If you got a chance to meet the author, what would you most like to ask her about the book?

10. Overall, what feelings did this book evoke for you?

You can also download the guide here.