The Last Breath discussion questions

  1. In The Last Breath, the story begins with Gia returning home to care for her dying father, a man she hasn’t seen or spoken to in sixteen years. She’s not convinced he’s guilty of murdering her step-mother, but she’s not certain he’s innocent, either. Would you have done the same?

  2. Why do you think Gia chose a career chasing disasters around the planet in the first place? Was it to feed her wanderlust, to get away from her past in Rogersville, or something else entirely? Does it matter if her reasons were not purely altruistic, as long as she’s helping others?

  3. Alternatively, do you understand Lexi’s reasons for remaining in Rogersville, and Jake’s for settling there? Are their methods of coping with their traumas better or worse than Gia’s?

  4. Think about the bonds of family—the obligations that hold them together and the secrets that can tear them apart. What do you think the author was trying to say with Gia’s story? 

  5. Have you or someone you know ever been caught up in a destructive and abusive relationship? How did reading about Ella Mae and Dean make you feel about that relationship? Did it change any of your thoughts or beliefs about how that relationship played out?

  6. Gia keeps finding herself in situations where she’s either disappointed by her family members, or she feels she’s disappointing them. Is there anything she should she have handled differently? 

  7. At one point, Gia realizes that Cal’s defense wasn’t accidentally shoddy, that he threw the most prominent and important case of his life on purpose. Do you understand Cal’s choice to defend his brother, while also ensuring Ray paid for what he did? What about Cal’s promise to keep Ray’s secret from his children?

  8. Do you understand Jake’s reasons for keeping his true identity secret from the people in Rogersville? What about from Gia? Was he right or wrong in not telling?

  9. After her father’s deathbed confession, Gia forgives her father, even if she will never be able to forgive his action. Further, according to Gia, And if I can’t do either of those things just yet, the least I can do is give him peace. Could you do the same in her position? 

  10. Where do you think Gia and Jake end up? What do their lives look like a year or two or ten down the line?