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The Rhythm of SecretsThe Rhythm of Secrets
Patti Lacy
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Excerpt


Sheila Franklin has lived three separate lives. Now a conservative pastor's wife in Chicago, she is skilled at hiding secrets--a talent birthed during childhood romps through the music-filled streets of New Orleans. But when the son she bore at the age of eighteen comes back looking for answers and desperate for help, her greatest secret--and greatest regret--is revealed.
     

 

 Rhythm of Secrets Discussion Questions: Patti Lacy


 

1.  The book opens with Sheila Alexander, a pastor’s wife, getting a mysterious phone call. Has your life been transformed in one second? Share such a time.

 


2.  As in Patti’s first two novels, The Rhythm of Secrets employs a frame device that links the past and present. Do you like to see two stories unfold at once or prefer a more linear approach?

 


3.  The book’s settings are instrumental in our heroine’s metamorphosis. Discuss things you learned about WWII French Quarter, postwar St. Paul, Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, and the red light districts of Vietnam-era Thailand. In what ways does the heroine change as a result of her setting? How has your setting influenced who you are?

 

4.  How does Sheila exhibit growth as the story unfolds? How about Edward? Samuel?

 


5.  Patti has threaded “music literature” into the pages of this novel. Discuss ways that music becomes a character in the book.

 


6.  Starting with her first experience at Mimi’s New Orleans church, trace Sheila’s faith journey. How has your walk with Christ been similar? Different?

 


7.  How has societal treatment of unwed mothers changed since the era when Sheila was sent to the Home in St. Paul? Is it different inside and outside the church?

 


8.  The device of a fire is used during two pivotal scenes in the book to “transform” our main character. Discuss similarities and differences between the two life-changing trials through which Sheba/Sheila walked.

 


9.  A mysterious man confronts Sheila at the teak house. Discuss his role. Do you like the open-ended approach to this character’s involvement? Why or why not?

 


10. Two Vietnam veterans shared their experiences with Patti as she constructed Samuel. Time travel back to the turbulent 60s. Did this novel evoke feelings or memories of that period?

 

 
11.  How do the nuns, Miz W, and the Moody girls influence Sheila?

 


12.  Discuss Sheila’s conversion experience.

 

 
13.  Patti drew from real-life incidents—Sandy Sperrazza’s memories of her time at a Home, Billy Graham’s preaching on the Moody campus, a gentleman who did attempt to jump from Moody’s balcony. Did these scenes seem realistic to you, or did you find even truth hard to believe?

 


14.   Discuss the “so-what” of this novel, the takeaway value, and the themes.

 

 

 

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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