These questions may be used to spark discussion at book clubs. For a very unique, enhanced reading experience, OnceUponABookClub.com has created a special box featuring autographed editions of The Long Flight Home along with gifts and replicated items from within the novel. Unwrap each item as you reach the relevant pages in the story and feel as though you are truly living in this amazing novel!
- What are Susan’s fears during the Blitz? Why does she believe her pigeons can help save Britain? What did you learn about the German bombing offensive against Britain in 1940 and 1941?
- If Ollie’s parents had not been killed in a car accident, do you think he would have embarked on a quest to join the fight? How does his encounter with an air vice-marshal for the Royal Canadian Air Force, as well as being robbed in a train station, influence his decision to defer college and travel to Britain?
- Describe Susan. What kind of woman is she? When Susan attends the Source Columba meeting in London, she is the only woman in the group. Describe Susan’s courage compared to other members of the National Pigeon Service in confronting a senior military officer on the mission’s errors. What is meant by her affirmation, be an egg? Describe her relationship with her grandfather, Bertie. What role does Bertie play in shaping Susan’s values and beliefs?
- While working to prepare pigeons for the mission, Susan and Ollie fall in love. What brings them together? Why does their relationship develop so quickly? How is the war, particularly the nightly Luftwaffe bombings, a catalyst for their affection?
- Duchess is Susan’s loyal and devoted pet. What characteristics make her unique?
- Before reading The Long Flight Home, what did you know about homing pigeons used in World War II? Can you name additional animals that have served in times of war? What were the views on animal rights during World War II? After reading this book, do you feel the same about pigeons?
- How do you envision what happens after the end of the book? What do you think Susan and Ollie’s lives will be like?