Against All Odds, Heroes of Quantico Series #1Against All Odds, Heroes of Quantico Series #1
Irene Hannon
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Interview, Excerpt


For FBI Hostage Rescue Team member Evan Cooper and his partner, dignitary protection duty should have been a piece of cake. Unfortunately, Monica Callahan isn't making it easy. Estranged from her diplomat father--who is involved in a sensitive hostage situation in the Middle East--she refuses to be intimidated by a related terrorist threat back in the States. That is, until a chilling warning convinces her that the danger is very real--and escalating.
     

 Against All Odds Discussion Questions: Irene Hannon

1. Early in Against All Odds, David Callahan faces a moral dilemma: compromise his principles and protect his daughter—or hold fast to all he believes and put her life at risk. Is there a “right” answer in this situation? Why or why not? What would you do in his place?

 

2. Monica has been estranged from her father for many years. Do you think she was justified in cutting him off? Why or why not? Are you estranged from anyone in your life? Why? What would it take to repair the damage to that relationship?

 

3. When Monica was a child, her mother told her that holding a grudge was like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Do you think that’s true? Why or why not? How might carrying a grudge affect the life of the grudge-holder?

 

4. As a child, Monica offered forgiveness to a friend—and was repaid with rejection and ridicule. Has anything similar ever happened to you? How did you handle it?

 

5.  What specific things happen that convince Monica to start down the road to forgiveness with her father? Have you ever struggled with forgiveness? Can you talk about one instance—and how it played out? What does Scripture tell us about forgiveness?

 

6. The time frame for Against All Odds is very short. Yet by the end of the book, Coop and Monica have established a strong connection. Why do you think their relationship deepened so quickly? Why can such a rapidly accelerating attraction be dangerous?

 

7. In her speech, Monica says, “Words, like scalpels, can cut. But so can silence.” She also references the song “I Thought You Knew,” which is about the danger of assuming another person knows how you feel. Why is communication important in a relationship? What are the building blocks of good communication?

 

8. David Callahan sacrificed family for work. In later life, he regrets that decision—and recognizes that some of his reasons for making that choice were selfish. What were those reasons? Do you know anyone whose priorities have been skewed in pursuit of the things they valued? How has it affected their lives? What does Scripture teach us about priorities?

 

9. In Monica’s book, Walk the Talk, she contends that while actions are an important way to express love, people need to hear the words, too—because words are the window to the heart. Do you agree? Why is verbal communication important in maintaining relationships? What are some reasons people might be reluctant to communicate? What can happen when people stop talking—or sharing?

 

10. When Coop questions Monica about her faith, she says that it’s not always easy to believe, and that doubt is part of being human. Have you ever experienced doubt in your own faith? How did you deal with it? Do you, like Coop, ever struggle with the concept of putting your trust in God? What has helped you overcome this?

 

11. David Callahan puts his life on the line when he goes to the market to deliver the payment for information. What does this say about his character? About his love for Monica? Why are actions just as important as words in conveying our feelings?

 

12. Coop’s father withdrew into grief when his wife died, shutting out his sons. Coop’s brother found a surrogate family through his best friend, but Coop felt abandoned and emotionally isolated. Give some examples of how that affected his life. What does his experience say about the importance of a loving parent or parent-figure in a child’s development—and the impact the presence or absence of such a relationship can have in later life?

 

13. All of the characters in this book are driven by strong motivations. Which character did you find the most interesting? Why? Discuss his or her motivation and how it shaped his or her actions.

 

14. Monica trusted Coop and the HRT to keep her safe—yet they failed. How does this make Coop feel? Have you ever done your best to protect someone and failed? What were the repercussions? How did you deal with them?

 

15. Coop shies away from the notion of turning his life over to God because he thinks it will diminish his freedom and his individuality. Monica says it’s liberating, because when you know you’re loved, you trust the other person and that frees you to be exactly who you are. Do you think this is true? Why or why not? Does this same concept apply to human love? Think of a marriage you’ve witnessed where unconditional love and trust are present. Describe that relationship.

 

16. How would you describe Tariq’s character? What events shaped his life? What are his motivations? What are the motives of his key lieutenants? Talk about some examples from your own life or current events that illustrate the destructive nature of these motivations.

 

17. What does her father’s half-written letter do for Monica? What effect does it have on Coop? Have you had an experience or discovered something that had an immediate and long-lasting effect on your life? Describe it. Why was it so powerful?

 

18. What are two key messages you took away from this book?

 

 

 

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