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Nina Darnton may be able to attend your Book Club, either in person or via Skype.  To contact her for availability, please visit the contact page.


Book Club Discussion Guide for
Risking It All

  1. Marcia has to work hard to convince Jeff to try surrogacy. What do you think of his objections, especially those that relate to his feeling that it’s somehow not “natural”? How do you feel about surrogacy? If you were unable to conceive a baby in any other way, would you consider finding a surrogate?
  2. How much did you know about alternate ways of becoming parents before you read this book? Did you learn anything new from your reading? Did it change your opinion of surrogacy?
  3. Marcia and Jeff are upper middle class professionals.Eve is a poor, high school dropout who is a single mother. Do you think it is exploitive to take advantage of her need for money by paying her to have their baby?
  4. Marcia’s relationship with Eve was contractual but it grew to be emotional as well. How much do you think she owes Eve and is it worth the price she has to pay?
  5. After the tragedy, Jeff and Marcia react in very different ways. Do you think men and women often handle family crises differently?
  6. The decision Marcia makes moving forward after the tragedy threatens her marriage and the welfare of her new baby. Why did she do it? Do you think she made the right choice? What would you do?
  7. How do you feel about Jeff’s desire to help Danny financially but not take him into his home? Given that Jeff said from the beginning that he didn’t want an ongoing relationship with another family, is his reaction reasonable? Reading Group Questions
  8. Marcia is shocked that Jeff has an affair. Do you think that she is partly responsible for alienating him by not considering his feelings or point of view and fighting so hard for Danny’s? Do you think he should have remained faithful and tried harder to work things out, regardless of his feelings that she had chosen Danny over him?
  9. Is there anything that Marcia could have done differently to help Jeff accept Danny?
  10. At first, Marcia wants to adopt Danny because she feels guilty and responsible for him. Later, even though he is difficult and creates problems, she starts to love him. What do you think is the explanation for this?
  11. When Danny gets sick, Jeff goes to the hospital because he feels he has to. When he leaves, he has undergone a major change and so has his relationship with Danny. What happened?