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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Calling Home

1. Does Kerry represent unconditional love? Is his character strong or weak?

2. Considering their history, do you think it was wise of Virginia to take Roger back? Should Virginia have taken this opportunity to be more independent and carve out a different life? Will this new baby bring Virginia and Roger closer?

3. Many rape victims never come forward out of shame or because they feel as if they are at fault somehow. Society can still make young women feel as if they are responsible because of revealing clothing or other poor choices. How can young people who have been sexually assaulted be encouraged to come forward and take action? Should Jake have been prosecuted for raping Shannon?

4. How could Virginia’s life have been different after her rape? What could have been done to help her, considering the time period and society’s view of situations like hers? Did she truly have other options?

5. Patsy is really the only character who embraces religion in the story. Should Virginia have opened herself up to the support of the church? Does religion always offer comfort or can it be a hypocritical situation as Virginia views it?

6. The tornado represents how good can spin out of a vortex of anger and despair. It forced Shannon’s secret into the open, and Virginia and Roger both came clean about their past as well. Have you ever been through a horrific experience that shocked you into a different perspective on life? Has something traumatic caused you to reevaluate your actions and goals?

7. This story is also about second chances. Will Virginia find happiness raising another child? Will Shannon make the most of her college opportunity? Will Roger and Virginia make their life together happier this time around? Do you think people can change for the better, or will they always fall into old patterns?

Calling Home
by Janna McMahan

  • Publication Date: February 1, 2008
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington
  • ISBN-10: 0758221967
  • ISBN-13: 9780758221964