1. Few of us will have an experience like Susan Mitchell’s fantastical journey into a different reality. Yet many people find themselves pulled into worlds they didn’t expect: a diagnosis of cancer, a friend’s death, a parent’s Alzheimer’s, a child’s illness, divorce, addiction, or unemployment. Have you had to struggle through a “foreign world” that you wouldn’t have chosen to explore? What “portal” pulled you into the experience? Can you relate to Susan’s early emotions of shock, numbness, fear, and denial?
2. Susan was challenged to fill a role for which she felt unequipped and inadequate. When do you struggle with feelings of inadequacy in your daily life? What roles feel overwhelming to you?
3. Friendships helped Susan survive her first weeks in the new world. Who were some of your favorite characters in The Restorer and what did they offer Susan? In your real life, who are your allies and how do you support each other?
4. The People of the Verses live among many dangers. The Rhusicans were a particularly troubling enemy. What made them difficult to fight? What parallels can you draw in your own current life-battles? If you had to identify a thread of mind-poison that has affected your thoughts, what would it be?
5. Each major character in The Restorer has a unique relationship with the One, from intimate closeness, reverence, and profound trust, to confusion and frustration, to outright scoffing and refusal to believe in His existence or benevolence. Which character has a spiritual framework closest to your own? Why?
6. In the Old Testament book of Judges, the twelve tribes of Israel are threatened on every side, and God raised up a series of leaders who delivered the people. The Restorer is loosely inspired by the story of Deborah, one of the Judges. What parallels did you notice between this novel and the Old Testament accounts? What differences?
7. Do you think Susan’s experiences as the Restorer changed her? Why and in what ways? How do you think this might affect her attitudes and choices when she returns to her normal life?
8. Do you ever see your life as an epic adventure? The Bible says we are pilgrims in a world where we no longer belong. Did anything in Susan’s story inspire you in facing your own daily battles?