An Accidental Odyssey by kc dyer
1. As the story opens in An Accidental Odyssey, Gianna Kostas leaves New York with the idea of chasing her dad down and then quickly returning home. Have you ever traveled to any Mediterranean countries? Which of Gia’s destinations would you most like to visit?
2. What are the questions Gia wrestles with when it comes to weighing her options between planning her wedding, finding a job she loves, and dealing with her exasperating father? Would you have made the same choices she did?
3. At the beginning of the story, Gia’s complicated relationship with her father is evident. As her journey begins, to you sense any ambivalence in her vision of the future she and Anthony will share? How is this reflected in her relationship with Anthony? What about with Raj?
4. When Anthony calls Gia after their big fight, he denies that he broke things off with her and then says he is sorry if she mistook his intentions. How is this problematic? What other hints do you see of an imbalance in Gia and Anthony’s relationship?
5. In this story, Gia enjoys writing about food, and she becomes very good at it. How does her love of food and culinary writing help shape her sense of self as her journey progresses? Did any of her suggested recipes strike your fancy?
6. Gia’s friendship with Devi is so long-standing and rock-solid, they are almost like sisters. Do you think Devi did a good job of communicating her conflicting feelings about Anthony? What would you do if your dearest friend had a relationship with someone of whom you disapproved?
7. In spite of their fiery initial attraction, why do you think Raj tries to keep his relationship with Gia professional? Have you ever found yourself in an awkward situation with a work colleague? Should there be hard and fast rules for work relationships? And if you were in Raj’s shoes—or in Gia’s—what would you have done differently?
8. An Accidental Odyssey is a story about love in just a few of its many forms—love of friends and family, romantic love, but also a passion for discovery and even for work. As a journalist, a classical historian and an archeologist, Gia, Ari and Raj each love the job they do. How do the professions of each character define the choices they make when it comes to both work and family? Do you agree with these choices?
9. While paddling off the coast of Capri, Gia is mesmerized by the sights and sounds of a collection of buff surfer dudes, and nearly crashes her sea kayak into some treacherous rocks. Aside from these gender-swapped sirens, did you recognize any other echoes of Homer’s Odyssey in Gia’s adventures as she chases her father around the Mediterranean?
10. How does Anthony’s surprise arrival in Italy epitomise his vision of himself as the ideal hero for Gia? What signs do you see throughout the story that this relationship is not as perfect as it looks from the outside?
11. After all their ups and downs, why do you think Gia was so driven to complete Ari’s quest? What were the unexpected outcomes of Gia’s accidental odyssey? If you had a chance to take a journey like this one—would you?