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Sarah's Gift, Pleasant Valley Series #4Sarah's Gift, Pleasant Valley Series #4
Marta Perry
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Excerpt


Amish midwife Sarah Mast moves to Pleasant Valley for a fresh start. But her aging aunt can no longer run the birthing center, leaving most of the responsibility to Sarah. Among those skeptical of Sarah's ability is neighbor Aaron Miller, who seems drawn to Sarah but pulls away when his own sister requests her services. And when a criminal complaint is filed against Sarah, she must pray for strength to defend her practice and win acceptance from the community she loves.
     

 

 Sarah's Gift, Pleasant Valley Series #4 Discussion Questions: Marta Perry


 

1. Midwife Sarah Mast decides to start life over again in a new community. Moving is a common thing in English society, but relatively unusual for the Amish. Did you understand Sarah’s reasons for taking such a step? Did you think they were sound?

 

 

2. Have you ever moved to a new community? Who or what made you feel the most welcome and at home?

 

 

3. Who or what made Sarah feel at home in Pleasant Valley? Why?

 

 

4. Sarah is both shocked and in denial about the changes in her aunt. Have you ever encountered someone you haven’t seen in awhile and been shocked by how he or she has aged? Did you have a similar or different reaction?

 

 

5. Aaron’s hostility to the midwife practice takes Sarah by surprise, and she has difficulty understanding it. Have you ever experienced the discovery that someone you know has a radically different opinion on something important to you? How can a friendship survive such a situation?

 

 

6. When Sarah learns about the death of Aaron’s mother and his blaming her aunt, she immediately wants to “fix” the problem, as people with nurturing personalities often do. How did her aunt and Aaron respond to Sarah’s efforts? Did they think she was interfering? What might she have done?

 

 

7. Aaron’s relationship with his teenage brother, Benjamin, is a difficult one. Which of them did you empathize with the most? Did you understand Sarah’s longing to help them?

 

 

8. Did it surprise you to find that Amish teenagers have some of the same rebellious feelings as teenagers in the outside world? Why or why not?

 

 

9. Do you think the Amish are wise to allow their teenagers to experience the freedom they do in rumspringa? What are the dangers? What might be the dangers of not allowing it?

 

 

10. Sarah experiences varying reactions to midwifery during her career, from physicians who welcome her assistance to those who want to put her out of business. The court case was based in part on an actual case involving a midwife to the Amish in Pennsylvania. Why do you suppose some health care professionals are opposed to Amish midwives? Do you see a value in physicians and midwives working together?

 

 

11. Have you or someone you know experienced a midwife-assisted birth? What were your opinions of it?

 

 

12. Sarah’s relationship with her aunt goes through several transitions during Sarah’s first months in the practice. Do you see any of your relationships with older people or younger people reflected in Sarah’s experience? How? What qualities should people strive for when seeking the best relationships between generations?

 

 

13. It is not an easy thing for Amish people to take a stand on political or legal issues because of their history and beliefs. For the Amish of Pleasant Valley, showing their silent support of their midwife was a serious decision. Did you understand why they did that? Were you surprised that other groups would join them?

 

 

14.  The birth of Molly’s baby is a crucial point in the relationship between Sarah and Aaron, when they are forced to face their deepest feelings. What are some times in the life of a family that bring out deep emotions? How can families grow through these experiences?

 

 

15. Do you think that Sarah will find comfort for her childless state in her clients and their babies? Or do you think this might make it more difficult for her as she and Aaron begin their married lives? 

 


 


 
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Discussion Question Index

A


 • Abigail: Jill Eileen Smith
 • Abigail's New Hope: Mary Ellis
 • Against All Odds: Irene Hannon
 • Against the Tide: Elizabeth Camden
 • Almost Forever: Deborah Raney

B


 • Blue Moon Promise: Colleen Coble
 • Blue Widow Brides: Maggie Brendan
 • Breach of Trust: DiAnn Mills
 • (The) Bridesmaid: Beverly Lewis
 • (The) Bridge: Karen Kingsbury
 • Brigid of Ireland: Cindy Thomson
 • Burn: Ted Dekker

C


 • (The) Calling: Suzanne Woods Fisher
 • (The) Chance: Karen Kingsbury
 • Chasing Mona Lisa: Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey
 • Chasing the Sun: Tracie Peterson
 • Choices of the Heart: Laurie Alice Eakes
 • Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate: Diana Wallis Taylor
 • Critical Care: Candace Calvert
 • Crossing Oceans: Gina Holmes

D


 • (The) Dance: Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley
 • Deadline: Randy Alcorn
 • Deadly Devotion: Sandra Orchard
 • Deadly Ties: Vicki Hinze
 • Deception: Randy Alcorn
 • (The) Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow: Olivia Newport
 • (The) Discovery: Dan Walsh
 •  Dolled Up to Die: Lorena McCourtney
 • Demon: A Memoir: Tosca Lee
 • Digitalis: Ronie Kendig
 • Dogwood: Chris Fabry
 • Double Minds: Terri Blackstock
 • Dying to Read: Lorena McCourtney

 F


 • Fair Is the Rose: Liz Curtis Higgs
 • Freefall: Kristen Heitzmann
 • Frontiersman's Daughter: Laura Frantz

G


 • Gift of Grace: Amy Clipston
 • Gone South: Meg Mosley
 • Grace: Shelley Shepard Gray

H


 • Havah; The Story of Eve: Tosca Lee
 • Heart's Safe Passage: Laurie Alice Eakes
 • Highland Sanctuary: Jennifer Hudson Taylor
 • Hope of Refuge: Cindy Woodsmall

I


 • Intervention: Terri Blackstock
 • Into the Whirlwind: Elizabeth Camden
 • Invisible: Ginny Yttrup
 • Iscariot: Tosca Lee

J


 • (The) Jewel of His Heart: Maggie Brendan
 • June Bug: Chris Fabry

 K


 • Katie's Way: Marta Perry
 • Killer Among Us: Lynette Eason

L


 • Lady in the Mist: Laurie Alice Eakes
 • Lady of Bolton Hill: Elizabeth Camden
 • Lady of Milkweed Manor: Julie Klassen
 • (A) Lasting Impression: Tamera Alexander
 • Leah's Choice: Marta Perry
 • The Lesson: Suzanne Woods Fisher
 • Lethal Remedy: Richard Mabry
 • Life in Defiance: MaryLu Tyndall
 • Like Dandelion Dust: Karen Kingsbury
 • Lonestar Sanctuary: Colleen Coble
 • Lonestar Secrets: Colleen Coble
 • Love Amid the Ashes: Mesu Andrews
 • Love at Any Cost: By Julie Lessman
 • Love Calls: Lorna Sielstad
 • Love in a Broken Vessel: Mesu Andrews

M

 • Making Waves: Lorna Sielstad
 • (A) Memory Between Us: Sarah Sundin
 • Moon in the Mango Tree: Pamela Ewen
 • Moonlight Masquerade: Ruth Axtell
 • (A) Most Peculiar Circumstance: Jen Turano
 • My Heart Remembers: Kim Vogel Sawyer

N


 • Naomi's Gift: Amy Clipston
 • Never Far From Home: Mary Ellis
 • Nightshade: by Ronie Kendig
 • No Place for a Lady: Maggie Brendan
 • (A) Noble Groom: Jody Hedlund

O


P


 • Paper Roses, by Amanda Cabot
 • Plain Jayne, by Hillary Manton Lodge
 • Preacher's Bride: Jody Hedlund
 • Promise of an Angel: Ruth Reid


R


 • Rebekah: by Jill Eileen Smith
 • Redeeming Love: Francine Rivers
 • Redemption: Karen Kingsbury & Gary Smalley
 • (A) Reluctant Queen: Joan Wolf
 • Remember to Forget: Deborah Raney
 • Remembered: Tamera Alexander

S


 • Sarah's Gift: Marta Perry
 • Shadows of the Past: Patricia Bradley
 • Simple Choices: Nancy Mehl
 • Simple Deceit: Nancy Mehl
 • Slow Moon Rising: Eva Marie Everson
 • Someone to Blame: Susanne Lakin
 • A Sound Among the Trees: Susan Meissner
 • The Sweetest Thing: Elizabeth Musser

T


 • Tailor Made Bride: Karen Witemeyer
 • That Certain Summer: Irene Hannon