1. At Nate’s bookshop, Ada tells Wyatt that she’d rather have contentment than happiness. Which would you choose? Why?
2. Wyatt (referring to Thackeray) asks whether achieving one’s desires increases happiness. What do you think?
3. Ada quotes her father as saying that an “invisible thread” connects us forever to our place of birth. Do you agree? Why or why not?
4. Upon her arrival in Hickory Ridge, Ada feels drawn against her will into the bonds of the community. What does community mean to you? Is there a downside to being part of a community?
5. Both Ada and Wyatt experience a distancing from God as a result of painful experiences. How did this affect their ability to grow as individuals and as a couple? How have you handled such experiences in your own life?
6. How does Lillian’s advice to Ada help in her struggle to forgive Edward? Can you share a time in your life when you were required to forgive someone? What spiritual teachings or scripture helped (or didn’t help) you to forgive?
7. Ada and Wyatt have very different ways of dealing with their pasts. How did their coping strategies affect them as individuals? As a couple?
8. Ada believed in God, yet she was unable to believe in a divine plan for her life. Have you ever had a similar experience? How did you handle it?
9. Ada is drawn to the idea of making her own way in the world, yet she fears that she may fail at it. Have you ever experienced a crisis of confidence? What was the outcome?
10. Ada’s move to Hickory Ridge turns out to be a greater blessing than she ever could have imagined. Have you ever experienced a disaster that later turned into a blessing? What happened?