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Most Asked Book Questions?


  1. What part of the book resonated most with your own personal experience or with the experience of someone that you knew?

  2. What was your feeling about the obstacles that Sister Sophie and Father Grau had to overcome to be together, did that resonate with you personally?

  3. What was your feeling about the journey that Joe had to go through both to find his birth parents and then the way that he was able to relate to Sister Sophie when he found her?

  4. Does this book raise any issues for you about adoption, identity and the right to love?

  5. What part of the book was your favorite part and why?

  6. Which character did you most identify with and why?

  7. What parallels do you see between Joe’s story as an adoptee and Father Grau’s story growing up in a white family?

  8. In the movie version of “Forbidden Love” what actor do you think should play Father Grau? Sister Sophie? Joe? 

Valentine’s Day Additional Questions:

  1. The theme of the book is “Right to Love” what does that mean for you on Valentine’s Day

  2. What was the most romantic part of the book for you?

  3. What statement do you think that Sister Sophie and Father Grau are making about love in the book?

Black History Month questions:

  1. How did Father Grau’s story resonate with you and particularly the contributions that he made to this country by his service in the army during WWII?

  2. What is your feeling about the story of his determination to be a priest against the backdrop of segregation and the refusal of the Catholic Church to allow him to study for the priesthood in this country?

  3. What was your feeling about the racism that Sister Sophie and Father Grau both experienced because of their love?


Women’s History Month Questions:

  1. What are your thoughts about Sister Sophie’s journey in this book and how does this relate to some of the larger themes for Women’s History month?

  2. What in your opinion is the most difficult part of Sister Sophie’s journey that could be compared to the journey of another more well known historical figure that you are familiar with?


Mother’s Day Questions:

1. The book talks about two mothers, Mama, Joe’s adopted mother and Sister Sophie, his birth mother, what traits did these two women share, and how were they each different?

2. The book discusses other figures in the book like “Mama Lan” who also were like a Mother figure for Joe, does this resonate with you? Are there women who, though not your mother also been like a mother to you?

3. What do you believe was the most difficult challenge for Mama and for Sister Sophie in the role that they played in Joe’s life?



Father’s Day Questions:

  1. Joe never knew his birth father but through his relationship with Sister Sophie he grew to connect with him, what do you think was the thing that most resonated with Joe about his birth father?

  2. Pops was a surrogate father to Joe in many ways, what was in your opinion, the most significant part of their relationship? 

  3. How did Pops change Joe’s life?

  4. Is there anyone in your life who was a father figure to you and which resonates with you when reading this book?

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