1. Leona Fisher, Amish schoolteacher and bishop’s daughter, had always looked up to her father and wanted to have the kind of wisdom he had. How did Leona’s feelings about her father change after his accident? Why did they change?
2. What did Leona’s behavior after her father’s accident reveal about her character? Was her embarrassment by his childish antics justified? What are some ways people deal with a family member’s handicap?
3. Due to his guilt and fear of being found out, Jim Scott kept the truth about his son’s supposed adoption from Jimmy, even after he promised his wife on her deathbed that he would tell Jimmy the truth. What are some ways people deal with their guilt and fears when it comes to telling someone a truth that may hurt one or both of them?
4. Leona had a fear of falling in love because her first love died in an accident. When and how did Leona come to grips with this fear?
5. When Jimmy Scott first heard the story about his past, he didn’t believe it. Was his unbelief because the story seemed so impossible, or was Jimmy trying to avoid the truth because it was too painful? What are some ways that people avoid dealing with an unpleasant truth?
6. How did learning the truth about his heritage affect Jimmy’s relationship with the only father he’d ever known?
7. Despite the fact that Abraham Fisher thought he had gotten over the pain of losing Zach, he lashed out at Naomi for keeping Zach’s quilt hidden. What can we learn about forgiveness from Abraham and Naomi’s situation?
8. Naomi had a tendency to be hard on herself, often feeling responsible for things that weren’t really her fault, and feeling guilty for the things that were. How can something that happened in our past affect our relationships in the present, and how can we learn to put guilt in its proper perspective?
9. What were the reasons Abraham didn’t care for Jimmy Scott? Was he justified in wanting to protect his best friend’s daughter from the Englisher?
10. In many ways, Jimmy was an enabler where Jim was concerned—often covering for him at work when he’d been drinking and taking care of his needs when he was unable to work. Jimmy had to learn “tough love” where Jim was concerned. How does an enabler sometimes prevent or slow the process of someone coming to the realization that they need help?
11. Some people may have to hit rock bottom before they admit they have a problem or seek help. How does one know when to step in and help, or when to back away?
12. The Bishop’s Daughter is a story of triumph over tragedy, faith where there was mistrust, forgiveness instead of blame, and unconditional love. What spiritual or emotions lessons did you learn from reading this book?