Alicia Richards loved her daughter from her very first breath. Days later, when tests confirmed what Alicia already knew—that Chloe had Down syndrome—she didn’t falter. Her ex-husband wanted a child who would grow to be a scholar. For Alicia, it’s enough that Chloe just is.
Now twenty-five, Chloe is sweet, funny, and content. Alicia brings her to adult daycare while she teaches at a local college. One day Chloe arrives home thrumming with excitement, and says the words Alicia never anticipated. She has met someone—a young man named Thomas. Within days, Chloe and Thomas, also mentally challenged, declare themselves in love.
Alicia strives to see past her misgivings to the new possibilities opening up for her daughter. Shouldn’t Chloe have the same right to love as anyone else? But there is no way to prepare for the relationship unfolding, or for the moments of heartbreak and joy ahead.
With grace and warmth, Colleen Faulkner tells an unflinching yet heartrending story of mothers and daughters, and of the risks we all take, both in loving and in letting go.
"Faulkner’s latest is a bittersweet and humorous glimpse into the relationship between a loving, protective mother and her adult daughter with Down syndrome…readers will find it surprisingly easy to relate to and sympathize with Alicia as she guides her special-needs daughter through love for the very first time."– RT Book Reviews
“Marvelously authentic. In Alicia the author has captured the heart and will and spirit of most special needs moms… an interesting, emotional read which I thoroughly enjoyed. This story is all about love – the joy of finding it, the pain of losing it and the realization that it is all around us, sometimes in the most unexpected of places. I would recommend this novel to anyone who is prepared to laugh, cry and rejoice as they experience life through the eyes of some very special people.” – All About Romance
1) When the book opens, do you feel that Alicia is giving Chloe the independence she needs/deserves? If not, give an example.
2) Would you have responded differently than Alicia when Chloe first came home saying she and Thomas were going to get married?
3) Do you think Randall loved his daughter? Why do you think he wasn't more involved in her life? Was Alicia responsible for his lack of involvement? Do you think Randall's relationship with Chloe would have been different had Chloe not had an intellectual disability?
4) Do you think Alicia should have allowed Chloe to get married? Should Margaret have allowed Thomas to get married? Would there have been a better option?
5) Do you think having Chloe and Thomas move into Alicia's house after they were married was a good idea? Would the marriage have survived had they moved into Margaret's house? A group home?
6) How could Alicia have prevented Chloe and Thomas's marriage from failing? Margaret?
7) What would you have done if Chloe had been your daughter and become pregnant? How do you think others would have reacted to your choice?
8) How do you think Alicia's story will end?