1. There's a stark contrast between Deborah and Callie in Chapter One. Deborah is in her home, dressed, working on something she loves to do, and surrounded by friends and family. Callie is hiding beneath her covers as the clock approaches noon, she has no food in the pantry, and she has no plans for how to address her problems. Have there been times in your life when you were able to relate to both characters?
2. In Chapter Nine, Ruth makes the observation that "there’s a place in this life for pain.” Deborah doesn't like this answer any more than I do, but her heart acknowledges the truth of what her mother-in-law is saying. Do you agree that God sometimes uses the pain in our life? Why or why not?
3. In Chapter Fifteen, we see Esther's garden. This is where she has buried all of her grief, and also where God seems to be working with her, slowly mending her heart. Where do you go and what do you do when you're hurting the most?
4. Chicken breast disease, or nemaline myopathy, is a real disease, and there are real doctors like Doc Bernie who travel among the Amish and treat their children. Doctor Bernie explains to Callie that Melinda and Noah have made the choice to treat their child Aaron at home. In Chapter Seventeen, Doc Bernie agrees with this choice. How did you feel about it?
5. In Chapter twenty-three, Esther explains to Callie exactly how her husband died. Her decision not to prosecute the boys responsible for Seth's death is in keeping with Amish beliefs. Although this situation is fictional, it seemed to me that this was an extreme, real-world example of someone extending God's grace and forgiveness. What was your reaction to this scene?
6. I mention white roses twice in the story. The first time is in Chapter twenty-three, when Esther is speaking to Callie, when she is describing her husband's. The second time is in Chapter Thirty, when Deborah is climbing out the window, running away--though she doesn't yet know why. What do you think the white roses represent in these scenes?
7. At the end of the story, Callie notes that she now has casual friends and real friends. Do you think we need both?
8. If you've read Amish books before, was the portrayal of Amish people different in this book than in others? If you haven't read any Amish books before, was the portrayal of the Amish here what you expected?
9. When the novel opens, Callie is very disconnected from those around here. She first opens up slowly--through Max, and then more so through Daisy's journal, Daisy's books, and the friends and community that her aunt was a part of. Could this transformation also have taken place in a large metropolitan area like Houston? Why or why not?
10. From the beginning scene to the closing one, quilting is the lens through which Deborah understands her world. It is her frame of reference, and when she's confused, she tries to envision the "problem" as she would a quilt that isn't cooperating. What helps you to solve your problems?