1. What surprised you most about Ouisie in the beginning of the book? How did she grow by the end?
2. What kind of difficulties do battered wives in the church face? Why is it harder for them, in some cases, to find the help they need? What barriers does the church put up? What can the church do to help women in this precarious situation?
3. Ouisie's friend Emory, a brand-new Christian, gives better counsel than her friends who have been Christians a long time. Why do you think that is?
4. How did Ouisie’s relationships change throughout the book? Between her and Emory? Jed? Sissy? Hap?
5. Central to the theme of Life in Defiance is the ideas of risk and trust. How has God called you recently to risk? To trust? And why do you think folks struggle to do both?
6. Ouisie and Hap’s marriage isn’t exactly something you’d want to follow. In your opinion, what makes a long-lasting, love-filled marriage work?
7. Who are the outcasts in this book? What do they teach about God, Christianity and church?
8. Ouisie deals with motherly regret. How does motherly regret play into the plot?
9. Ouisie reads a book about godly marriage to try to fix things. How successful is she?
10. How did Ethrea Ree surprise you in this book?
11. Did you guess the killer correctly? Why or why not? Who did you think he/she was?
12. What about Sheba surprised you?