What Storm, What Thunder, Discussion Questions:

  1. Why do you think Myriam J.A. Chancy chose Ma Lou to frame the story?
  2. Which character in What Storm, What Thunder do you most identify with, and which do you identify with least? Why?
  3. How do violence and tenderness coexist in the makeshift relief camps in Haiti?
  4. After reading this story, what takeaways do you think might stay with you if you were to face a natural disaster in the future?
  5. How did you react to the death of Richard? Of Olivier? Do you think their deaths could have been avoided?
  6. What Storm, What Thunder creates a multi-voiced narrative of the earthquake through the experience of related and interrelated characters. If you and your family or friends were to live through a natural disaster of this magnitude, how do you think you or others around you would react?
  7. The characters in What Storm, What Thunder all experience some form of loss, especially of a sense of home. What would you miss most in terms of personal or historical landmarks if they disappeared overnight?
  8. If you had been in Sara's shoes, how do you think you would have responded to the losses she faced?
  9. In what ways does the earthquake affect characters like Anne and Didier differently, since they were not physically present in Haiti at the time it happened? In what ways does it affect them similarly to those who were there?
  10. What similarities and differences exist between siblings Didier, Sonia, Taffia and Paul?
  11. What accounts for such contrasts, and what do they reveal about generational differences or issues of class?
  12. If you could summarize the novel's theme in one word, what would it be?