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Reading Group Guide

The theme of premonition—whether through trend forecasting, dreams, or uncanny visions—is central in Touch. Do you believe in the ability to predict the future? If you were a trend forecaster, what predictions would you make?

Why does Anastasia become so important to Sloane? What does their relationship say about Sloane’s ability to form connections?

Do you think that Sloane’s predictions about the future of human contact are correct? In what ways have you seen (or not seen) a movement against technology in favor of face-to-face interactions in society?

How does the death of Sloane’s father inform her decisions in life? Why was she ultimately able to move past his death and connect with her family again?

The relationship between Sloane and her sister, Leila, is complex. Discuss its up and downs. Did you find Sloane’s apology to Leila satisfying? What do you think their relationship will be like going forward?

What, in your mind, drew Sloane to Roman? Why did they stay together for so long? In what ways did he help—or hinder—Sloane’s career? Did you find him to be a likable character?

Why did Roman’s article about the death of penetrative sex prove to be so divisive? Are there ways in which augmented virtual reality can benefit society? In what ways is it frightening?

The title of the novel is somewhat open-ended: what does it mean to the different characters? What does the idea of touch embody within the context of the book?

The New York City setting is an important element of Touch. How do setting and location affect the characters? Could Sloane’s transformation have occurred in another place? Compare and contrast Sloane’s actions and decisions in her two different home countries.

Discuss the final confrontation between Sloane and Dax. What are the pros and cons of each of their arguments? Do you see tech and touch as a dichotomy?

Many of the main characters in Touch are mothers—Sloane’s mother, Jin’s mother, and Leila—and Sloane is initially defined by her opposition to parenthood. Discuss the various representations of motherhood in Touch. How do they compare with your own relationships or opinions about parenting?
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