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Breaking Her Fall -- Discussion Guide

Breaking Her Fall -- Discussion Guide

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A family saga about fathers and daughters, teen sex, anger, consequences, and ultimately forgiveness.
A family saga about fathers and daughters, teen sex, anger, consequences, and ultimately forgiveness.

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Published by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on Aug 01, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/03/2014

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Reading Group Guide
Breaking Her Fall 
By Stephen Goodwin
About the book:
Just before eleven on an ordinary summer night in Washington, D.C., Tucker Jones picks up the phone,expecting to hear that his teenage daughter, Kat, is back from the movies. But the caller is another parent, a man who tells Tucker that Kat was actually at a party
 –
and makes a shocking allegation aboutwhat happened to her there. In a blind rage, Tucker races to the party to find Kat already departed, buthis full-boil interrogation of the boys still present spills over into a confrontation
 –
and ends with one of theboys crashing into a glass tabletop. In a second, his rage turns to remorse, and he soon finds himself under arrest. Tucker could easily lose his home and his business, but he is most concerned about losinghis daughter. Stephen Goodwin writes with insight and rare power about the way that passion rearrangeslives.  As Tucker and Kat and everyone around them seek to repair the damages of that night,
Breaking Her Fall 
charts their uncommonly difficult passage from despair to reconciliation and hope with extraordinarygrace.
About the author:
STEPHEN GOODWIN is a professor of creative writing at George Mason University and the author of three previous books. Goodwin has also directed the literature program at the National Endowment for the Arts, and he served two terms as president of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. He lives in Washington,D.C.
Discussion Questions:Q.
In what way does Washington, D.C., form a meaningful backdrop for the novel? How do classhierarchies affect the plot? What observations does Tucker make about suburban versus commercialaspects of his community?
Q.
Are money and sex equally powerful in
Breaking Her Fall 
? In what way do finances influence Tucker’spower struggle with Kat’s mother?
 
Q.
 
In your opinion, what motivated Kat’s actions
at the party? Who appears to be ultimately responsiblefor what happened? How would you have responded to the late-night call from John Fogarty?
Q.
 
How does Kat’s heartache compare to that of the adults in her world? Are her coping skills much
different f 
rom theirs? Does Kat mirror or defy her parents’ example?
 

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