THREADS OF HOPE Discussion Questions

(Spoiler Alert!)

1. When we first meet Nina, her single focus is the NewYork promotion. Is her self-worth connected to her job? Why? Do you find that, today, many people are like Nina in that they are defined by the work/career/profession they have chosen? If so, why? If not, why not?

2. What is Nina’s relationship with her parents, especially her mother? Is Nina judging her harshly, is Sheila a harsh judge, or both? What is it that mothers and daughters expect and want from one another? How is that different for sons, or is it?

3. For over ten years, Nina carries the high school incident with Greg Hernandez and his friends. What happened to this grudge over time? Did it shape the woman she became? Why is Nina holding on to those negative feelings?

4. What does Nina see in Aretha and Daisy that led her to consider them friends? Why doesn’t either one of them or both discuss the New York decision with her?

Should they have? At what point are we willing to risk the relationship with friends by honestly sharing about situations in their lives?

5. What, if any, of the information about the AIDS Memorial Quilt is new to you? Does its size surprise you? If you were already in a city where some of the panels were being displayed, would you go to the exhibit? Why or why not?

6. Were you already aware of the number of children who die in Third World countries because of AIDS? Would you have adopted Jazarah? Why or why not? Does it concern you that children like her are being assimilated into our schools and society at large?

7. The stories the families shared were all different. Were they what you expected?

8. Should Nina’s parents have told her the truth about Thomas? Were their reasons for not telling her justifiable? What would you have done in the same situation, same time? Would bringing this forward to the 21st century make a difference in Nina’s parents’ decision? In yours?

9. Do you agree with Nina’s decision not to stay in New York?

10. Greg ends their relationship when Nina tells him about going to New York. Do you think he is being unnecessarily overprotective of his daughter and her feelings?