1. At the opening of the novel, Annalisa feels insignificant and unimportant to God. She thinks he’s too busy to pay attention to a poor woman like her. Have you ever felt insignificant to God, that perhaps he’s more concerned about the “important” people? Why do you think we have a tendency to feel this way?
2. Do you think Carl should have told Annalisa’s family right away who he was? Or do you think his silence and deception about his true identity was justified? Why or why not?
3. Annalisa had given up hope of ever having a happy marriage, and she’d relegated love to fairy tales. Today, many couples, like Annalisa, give up on having happy and loving marriages. Why do you think we have such abysmally high divorce rates and marital problems?
4. Read Genesis29:16–20. Jacob served Laban for seven years in return for marrying Rachel, but “they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.” Do you think a love like Jacob and Rachel’s is possible? What are the ingredients that go into having a loving marriage?
5. Immigrant farmers faced incredible hardships like hunger, deprivation, disease, and discrimination as they toiled to make a new life for themselves in a strange land. What would have been the hardest thing for you if you’d been an immigrant farmer in Forestville?
6. Forgiveness is a major theme in the ending of A Noble Groom. Carl had to forgive Ward and went back during the fire to try to save him. Annalisa had to forgive Carl for his deception about his identity. And Peter eventually had to forgive Carl as well. Have you ever had to forgive someone for something difficult? Was it hardfor you? If so, why?
7. Carl often responded to problems or difficult situations by wanting to run away. Why are we so prone toward running from our problems (or avoiding them) rather than staying and facing them?
8. Like many parents, Annalisa had the hope of providing her children with a better life someday. Did your parents strive to give you more than they had? In what areas have you tried to give your kids (or other family members) a better life?