ISABELLA AND DESTINY – Questions for Book Clubs and Reading Groups


  1. Bella was a teen when she had her baby. Have you known teens who relinquished their baby for adoption? Was their reaction to doing so the same as Bella’s? How was it different?
  2. How would you describe Bella’s relationship with her daughter’s adoptive parents? How is it different/the same as her relationship with her own parents? In what ways might her parents have helped her to come to terms with her grief at losing her child?
  3. Bella stops hearing from her daughter’s adoptive parents after five years. If you were Bella, what would you have done under the same circumstances?
  4. How does Bella’s recent break-up with Ethan affect her expectations for finding love again? In what ways does her best friend’s engagement to Tör influence how Bella feels about herself?
  5. When Bella receives the letter from Mr. Harris, she wants to contact Destiny immediately. Had you been advising her, what would you have recommended and why?
  6. Bella likes Henry Quackenbush, the owner of the bookstore. In what way does her friendship with him fill a void, now that she no longer has much contact with her mother?
  7. How would you describe Henry’s relationship with his nephew, Gavin Cambridge? If you were to meet Gavin on the street, what would you think of him? If you visited his automobile showroom, how would he appear to you?
  8. When Gavin meets Bella, his uncle declares that Gavin is going to marry Bella. Why do you suppose Henry makes that comment? Should he have done so? Why or why not?
  9. Bella first writes Destiny a letter and then she calls her, but only after contacting Mr. Harris first. Would you agree that this was the right way to approach her birth child? If not, how would you have done so, and why?
  10. What is it about Vanessa that makes her so distrustful of Bella? When is this first apparent? And what did you think of her actions in hiding those letters from Destiny for so many years?
  11. How would you describe Nolan and Vanessa’s marriage? Before they adopt Destiny? After the death of their second adopted child, a son? After their divorce?
  12. Why do you suppose Destiny starts dating Noah and then becomes his lover? How strongly does she really love him? Or does she?
  13. When Gavin first learns about Destiny, he seems very accepting of Bella’s action in giving up her daughter. Why, then, does he question Destiny so much when she comes to stay with Bella?
  14. When Bella goes with Gavin to Spokane, she approaches him when she enters his bedroom. Was that wise? In what ways does it show how she feels about him?
  15. When Bella learns of Henry’s death, how does she support Destiny? Gavin?
  16. What do you suppose Gavin talks with Bella about later that night and after they return to Evergreen?
  17. How does Bella’s relationship with Destiny aid in her relationship with Vanessa?
  18. What do you think of Earl? Why do you suppose he keeps to himself, refuses to take a bus or drive a car? How else might his behavior reflect his wartime experience when he met Henry?
  19. Is Gavin correct in concluding that he needs to hire a manager for the bookstore after Henry’s death? Or should he have simply closed it down? Had he done so, how might that have affected his relationship with Bella? Destiny? Earl?