The Kings and Queens of Roam
Helen and Rachel McCallister, who live in a town called Roam, are as different as sisters can be: Helen, older, bitter, and conniving; Rachel, beautiful, naïve—and blind. When their parents die suddenly, Rachel has to rely on Helen for everything, but Helen embraces her role in all the wrong ways, convincing Rachel that the world is a dark and dangerous place she couldn’t possibly survive on her own…or so Helen believes, until Rachel makes a surprising choice that turns both their worlds upside down.
In this new novel, southern literary master Daniel Wallace returns to the tradition of tall tales and folklore made memorable in his bestselling novel Big Fish. Wildly inventive and beautifully written, The Kings and Queens of Roam is a big-hearted tale of family and the ties that bind.
THE KINGS AND QUEENS OF ROAM by Daniel Wallace
Reading Group Guide
Inhabited by ghosts and wild dogs, mysterious lumberjacks and Chinese immigrants, and set in a wild place where rivers are magic and the forest is intent on claiming what was once its own, Daniel Wallace’s new novel is a powerful and imaginative story of two sisters, Helen and Rachel McCallister, and the dying town in which they live. Rachel is blind and has relied on Helen all her life, and Helen has both resented and taken advantage of her sister. But when Rachel strikes out on her own, both sisters discover that neither they nor the world in which they live are everything they believed, and that love and forgiveness can sometimes come at a cost.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. Wallace writes that Rachel and Helen “were known simply as the girls…the wonder of it was that they were thought of as girls at all, and not simply girl.” (4) Are Rachel and Helen as close as the townspeople of Roam perceive the see more