1. The Yada Yada House of Hope series introduces a new primary character. Who is Gabby Fairbanks? Describe her as a person—her personality and character . . . her emotional strengths and weaknesses . . . her spiritual assets and debits. How do you feel about Gabby? What do you want to say to her?
2. What do you think has happened internally to Gabby between the time she first met Philip in the Prologue, and when we meet Gabby sixteen years later in Chapter One? Are there ways you feel you’ve lost part of “who you are” or had to give up hopes and dreams while simply coping with life’s circumstances? If you could get back that lost part of yourself, what would it be?
3. How would you characterize the tension in Gabby’s and Philip’s marriage? In what way does Gabby feed into this tension? Do you see yourself or your marriage in their relationship in some way? What feelings does it bring up for you?
4. Mr. Bentley and “Mrs. Fairbanks . . . penthouse” are probably as different as two people can be. And yet, why do you think Gabby thinks of the doorman as her “first—and maybe only—friend” in Chicago? Who in your life has proven to be an “unlikely” but genuine friend?
5. In Chapter 10, Lucy the “bag lady” asked Gabby, “Why ain’t you prayin’ for me ’bout this bronchitis?” Gabby assured her that she, um, had been (intending to make it “retroactive”). What do you think Lucy meant by, “Huh. Ain’t what I meant”? What is your usual response when someone asks you to pray for them?
6. Even though Josh and Edesa Baxter—whom you met in the original Yada Yada series—are quite a bit younger than Gabby, in what ways do they help open Gabby’s spiritual eyes and heart? Even though they have a temporary reprieve in their efforts to adopt Baby Gracie, what challenges do you anticipate they may face in the future as a multi-cultural family?
7. Gabby is caught in the “sandwich generation”—parenting not only her two growing sons, but “parenting” her mother as well. In reacting to the crisis in her mother’s life, how is she missing what her kids need? In what ways have you experienced (or are experiencing) a similar family squeeze? If you are discussing this question as a group, how can you encourage and support one another in times of family stress?
8. The setting of this story alternates between a luxury penthouse and a homeless shelter. In what ways do these settings symbolize what’s happening in the story itself—with Gabby in particular, but also some of the other characters (Philip … Lucy … Estelle … etc.)?
9. In spite of what happens in the last chapter, what do you see as glimmers of hope for Gabby? Do you think there can be any redemption for Philip? Why or why not?
10. In what ways does Gabby’s encounter with Lucy in the first chapter and their encounter in the final chapter act as “bookends” to this story? What are the similarities? What is the significance of the differences?