1. Why is the significance of the title, Raised in Captivity? In what ways are the human characters “captives?” Do you think events in the story lead to their liberation?
  2. When we first meet Caroline she seems crippled by her need to please others. Her friend Bella calls her “a prim little kiss-ass.” Is this a fair assessment? Do the events of the story change her?
  3. Caroline’s defense of Ridge Park Zoo and Iris’ defense of her land put them at odds. When did things begin to change? Was there a turning point ?
  4. Caroline and Iris are separated by at least a generation. Does this explain their divergent worldview, or is there something else at play?
  5. What role does the elephant Princess or “Judy” play? Why was the flashback to the circus included?
  6. Why was the short scene of the intern “Matt” talking about his work with piping plovers included in the book?
  7. Several characters–Victor, Chappy, Dr. Peter, Kirby, Julie, Donna and Neil–play supporting roles. Which of them were the most interesting to you?  Did any of them deserve a larger role?
  8. Sarah, “the bimbo” plays a small, but pivotal part. Did you find her believable or merely a stereotype? Was the change in her character believable?
  9. As Caroline becomes more invested in the zoo how does she change? How were those changes made apparent?
  10. What roles do Kirby and Bella play in the story? Were you surprised by the ending?
  11. If the author wrote a prequel or a sequel to Raised in Captivity what should happen?
  12. Five of Iris’ Sunday columns are scattered throughout the narrative. Did they enhance the narrative, or detract from it for you?
  13. What is Rafael’s role? What is the significance of his conversation about stones with the toddler Iris in the final scene?
  14. The author presents a distinct point of view on modern, well-run zoos. What is it? Do you agree? What, if anything, influenced your own thinking about the value of zoos?

Is there a question you’d like the author to answer? Send her a message.