1. “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride”—Joanna knows this is just a superstition, but she still thinks twice before accepting another invitation to be a bridesmaid. Why do you think this is?
2. Talk about some of the Amish wedding customs portrayed in the book. What are some ways in which Plain weddings are different from “English” weddings? How are they similar?
3. Do you think Joanna was right not to tell Cora Jane about Eben? Why or why not?
4. How are both Eben and Joanna bound by their Amish traditions? Are there ways in which your family’s or culture’s traditions place limits on your choices? Discuss.
5. Cora Jane exposes her sister’s secret to the preacher in part because she believes it is the right thing to do. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you felt you should confront a friend or family member about something? How did you handle it?
6. Eben is expected to put his family’s welfare before his own desires. What would you do in his place?
7. Joanna is allowed to write on the condition she does it to encourage others. What is a gift or talent you have? How might you use that to bless others?
8. Like her namesake, Joanna struggles with knowing when to be patient and when to step out in faith. What are some ways you try to discern the next step when it comes to big life decisions?
9. Is the character of Joanna different from what you expected? Why or why not?