Discussion Questions for Untethered
SPOILER ALERT! Some of these questions may give away certain plot elements:
- Ignoring the issue of who has legal rights to Allie and who does not, who do you think Allie should live with: her stepmother, Char, or her bio mother, Lindy? Why?
- Char is an extremely generous person who is willing to make tremendous sacrifices for Allie, including remaining in Mount Pleasant so Allie can finish high school. But (for reasons she explains) she is unwilling to ask Allie if she wants to stay, and she is equally unwilling to ask Lindy if she will let Allie stay. Does Char’s reluctance to address the issue head on with Lindy or Allie detract from her generosity?
- Colleen chides Char for “overthinking” certain blended family interactions. Do you agree with Colleen, or do you feel Char is right to give such careful consideration to her interactions with her stepdaughter?
- If you were Char, would you have stayed in Mount Pleasant, without certainty about whether, or for how long, Allie might remain? Or would you have moved back to D.C.?
- Dave Crew ultimately prioritizes his biological son over his adopted daughter. Is this understandable or is it reprehensible?
- Sarah is forced to choose between her husband and her adopted daughter. What choice would you have made in her place?
- In many “rehoming” cases, the adopted child displays extremely violent behavior, often harming family pets and siblings, threatening family members with injury, setting fires or engaging in other property destruction. Even if you believe Morgan’s issues did not rise to a level where the Crews should have “rehomed” her, do you believe there are behaviors, such as the violent ones described above, that would justify an adoptive parent’s decision to “rehome” a child?
- The Crews’ inability to secure affordable post-adoption mental health services for Morgan is typical, and not only in Michigan. To what extent do you believe the state and federal governments should improve the availability of affordable post-adoption mental health services to families? Does your answer change if the child was adopted privately, from either inside or outside the United States, rather than from the U.S. foster care system?
- Should Char have reported the Crews to the Michigan authorities?
- We get a glimpse of how things turned out for Char, Allie and Morgan. How do you think things turned out for the Crews?