Skip to main content

Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Unexpected Son

1. In a close-knit, conservative society like Palgaum’s in the 1970s, what were the chances of a girl like Vinita and a man like Som marrying? Would their marriage survive?

2. Why does Vinita’s family lie to her about her child dying? As heartless as it seems, are their actions justified?

3. If Vinita had been awake during childbirth and had insisted on keeping the child, what kind of a twist would it lend to the story?

4. Is Girish’s reaction to Vinita’s confession too strong? Unexpected? If so, why?

5. Why doesn’t Vinita automatically think of her brother or mother as prospective bone marrow donors when she’s told she can’t be one?

6. Is Rohit’s reaction to Vinita’s sudden appearance appropriate under the circumstances? Discuss the issue of an adopted child and biological parent meeting for the first time.

7. A remotely possible but unlikely marrow donor is Som Kori’s wife (since she’s his first cousin). Discuss the implications of that particular scenario.

8. Why are Vishal and Sayee’s twin sons referred to a few times, but never appear in the book? What role do they play?

9. Vinita’s mother is almost always harsh in her judgment of Vinita. Is she justified in her attitude?

10. Discuss Arya’s role in the story. What does she bring to the plot?

11. Vishal is always the stern, humorless brother. What motivates him in his relationship with Vinita? Discuss his behavior and what it means to you as a reader.

12. My favorite challenge to readers is to ask them to discuss some other ways the story could have ended. Get as creative as you wish.

The Unexpected Son
by Shobhan Bantwal

  • Publication Date: August 1, 2010
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington
  • ISBN-10: 0758232039
  • ISBN-13: 9780758232038