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Reconstructing Natalie, Women of Faith Series #13Reconstructing Natalie, Women of Faith Series #13
Laura Jensen Walker
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Interview, Excerpt


Think YOU'RE self-conscious about your lack of cleavage? Natalie Moore is about to lose what little cleavage she has. And that's just the beginning. She'll shave her head, leave her church, fall for a man in scrubs, learn to tap, and flash a roomful of women. Reconstructing Natalie is the story of a woman whose breast cancer is the catalyst for some serious changes not the least of which is her cup size! Holding tight to her old friends while reaching out to new ones, Natalie must redefine herself and her faith on new terms.
     

 

 Reconstructing Natalie Discussion Questions: by Laura Jensen Walker


 

1. Reconstructing Natalie begins with "I’m obsessed with breasts." Natalie Moore isn’t a vain woman, she’s a casual girl-next-door type, but her diagnosis of breast cancer has her focusing on some body parts she never paid that much attention to before. Are you obsessed with some part of your body? And if so, which part and why?

 

 

2. Natalie is only 27-years-old when she’s diagnosed with breast cancer. Do you think her age and the fact that she isn’t married make that frightening diagnosis—that no woman ever wants to hear—even more difficult?

 

 

3. Do you think a diagnosis of breast cancer would be easier for a married woman in her 50’s or 60’s to hear?

 

 

4. Merritt and Jillian, Natalie’s two best friends, throw her a “Boob Voyage” party the night before her mastectomy. Have any of your friends ever done something fun and silly like that to help take your mind off a difficult or frightening situation? Would you do something similar for a friend?

 

 

5. After her surgery, Natalie is dependent on her friends and family to do things for her—many things she’s accustomed to doing herself. And Merritt demonstrates unconditional love and friendship to Natalie by helping give her a bath and shampooing her hair. Would you do something that intimate for a friend?

 

 

6. Some people pull away from or abandon Natalie once she tells them she has breast cancer (like Jack, especially, but Jillian initially, out of fear, although she comes around.) Have you ever had a friend leave or abandon you when the going got tough?

 

 

7. Natalie makes the choice to have a ‘prophylactic’ mastectomy (her healthy breast removed as a preventive measure) so that she won’t have to live in fear of her cancer recurring in the non-cancerous breast. Did that seem like a drastic step to you? Would you consider taking such a step if you had a similar diagnosis?

 

 

8. Some people at Natalie’s church say thoughtless things to her when she’s first diagnosed. Do you think they were being mean, or just clueless?

 

 

9. Have you ever had someone at church or work say something insensitive to you when you were going through a trying time?

 

 

10. In the breast cancer support group, Natalie meets and befriends a group of women—all very different from one another, who have this disease in common. Have you ever found yourself becoming friends with someone so different than you as a result of one shared experience? What lesson might there be in this?

 

 

11. Natalie's cancer and treatment compels her to re-think her life and make major changes as a result. Has your life ever done a similar about-face due to a major life-changing event?

 

 

12. Andy, Natalie’s neighbor and best male friend, is a rock for her throughout her treatment and yet, by the end of the book, their relationship has changed and grown into something deeper. Do you think it’s possible for a man and woman to become close friends without becoming romantically involved? Have you?

 

 

13. Jane is a kind and loving example of someone whose faith sustains her through even the darkest hours. Do you have that same kind of faith, and would it provide you comfort and hope if you found yourself in a situation similar to Jane’s?

 

 

 

 


 

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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