Half In: A Com­ing-of-Age Mem­oir of For­bid­den Love

September 1, 2021

What if your first love was a for­bid­den one?

At twen­ty-three, Felice Cohen was, like oth­er recent col­lege grads, hes­i­tant about enter­ing the real world, with the added stress of com­ing out in the ear­ly nineties. Focused on how to land a full-time posi­tion as a writer, falling in love was the last thing on her mind. But fall in love she did. With her boss, a woman thir­ty-four years old­er. They embarked on a high-stakes, year-long love affair. Addict­ed to the high of first love, Felice was enthralled by Sarah’s atten­tion and con­tent to hide their love in the shad­ows. Though not per­fect, it was enough. Until their secret was exposed, forc­ing Felice to pub­licly acknowl­edge their illic­it love or start a new life for herself.

In this can­did com­ing-of-age mem­oir — as com­pelling as a nov­el — Felice chron­i­cles the hap­pi­ness and heart­break of an age-gap love affair while strug­gling to fig­ure out the direc­tion of her future. Ulti­mate­ly, this is a sto­ry about nav­i­gat­ing life’s unpre­dictable path while fol­low­ing one’s heart and find­ing acceptance.

Discussion Questions

Cour­tesy of Felice Cohen

  1. For the per­son who chose this book: What made you want to read it? What made you sug­gest it to the group for discussion?

  2. What do you think moti­vat­ed Felice to share her life story?

  3. How did you respond to Felice’s voice”?

  4. How did Half In com­pare to oth­er mem­oirs you’ve read?

  5. How did the mem­oir make you reflect on your own life?

  6. Dis­cuss the book’s struc­ture and the author’s use of lan­guage and writ­ing style. How does Felice draw the read­er in and keep the read­er engaged? Does she con­vey her sto­ry with com­e­dy, self- pity, or some­thing else?

  7. We hear from Felice why she was attract­ed to Sarah, but why do you think Sarah was attract­ed to Felice? Her youth? Her humor? Do you think it was true love?

  8. What is the sig­nif­i­cance of the title Half In? Did you find it mean­ing­ful, why or why not? Would you have giv­en the book a dif­fer­ent title? If yes, what would your title be?

  9. What were the main themes of the book? How were those themes brought to life?

  10. How impor­tant was the time peri­od or the set­ting to the sto­ry? Did you think it was accu­rate­ly por­trayed? How would the book have played out dif­fer­ent­ly in a dif­fer­ent time peri­od or setting?

  11. Which loca­tion in Half In would you most like to vis­it and why?

  12. Were there any quotes (or pas­sages) that stood out to you? Why?

  13. Which scene has stuck with you the most?

  14. Did you reread any pas­sages? If so, which ones?

  15. Who were some of your favorite or most mem­o­rable char­ac­ters in the book?

  16. What did you learn from this book?

  17. Did your opin­ion of Half In change as you read it? How?

  18. Did you race to the end, or was it more of a slow burn?

  19. How did the book make you feel? What emo­tions did it evoke?

  20. Have you read any oth­er books by Felice? How would you com­pare them to this selection?

  21. What do you think Felice’s goal was in writ­ing this book? What ideas was she try­ing to illus­trate? What mes­sage was she try­ing to send?

  22. If you could ask Felice any­thing, what would it be?

  23. What do you think will be your last­ing impres­sion of Half In”?

  24. What did you like or dis­like about the book that has­n’t been dis­cussed already?

  25. Would you rec­om­mend it to a friend?