Hard to Hold Book Club Questions

1. Most of the characters in Hard To Hold are literally holding something back – from others and in some cases, from themselves. Are there some secrets worth keeping? Do secrets ever harm more than they help? Do you agree with the quote by George Washington Carver, “Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough?”

2. Do you agree that a man’s worth more than the worst thing he’s ever done? Is there a circumstance where that wouldn’t be true, in real life or in Hard To Hold?

3. What are your thoughts on Isabelle’s mother and uncle and the choices they made in their own lives and on Isabelle’s behalf?

4. Isabelle is a risk-taker. It’s a part of her personality. Do you think her decision to return to Africa, despite what happened to her there, is a good one or a necessary one?

5. Why do you think Isabelle lies to herself and everyone else about what happened to her in Africa, even though she admits the truth to Jake?

6. Hard To Hold deals with ghosts of the past. It has been said that past is prelude – do you agree? Is that true in this book? In your life?

7. NYT Bestselling author Larissa Ione has written a wonderful article about a phenomenon she calls bond-seeds. She says that, in order for bonds to form quickly, there are certain, necessary things that have to occur between people, namely, risk, sacrifice, confession, honesty, vulnerability, laughter, teamwork, support, failure, danger (not necessarily physical). This certainly proves true in Jake and Isabelle’s case. Has this proved true in your life with your friends and loved ones?