1. Ethan Chapman doesn’t want to be sheriff. He’s shocked when the town fathers choose him for the job. But within weeks he is reluctant to give up the position. Why has he changed his mind?
2. Orissa Walker is known to be a proud woman, but others are not immune to this flaw. How does Gert’s pride manifest itself in the story? Do you see a change in her attitude toward Cyrus? Isabel? Milzie? Bitsy? Others?
3. How does the Ladies’ Shooting Club help Gert, Libby, and the other women think differently about their neighbors?
4. What reasons do Hiram, Libby, and others have to resent Cyrus? How much of this was brought on by his own actions? Do you feel Isabel was justified in rebelling against her father? Was she right to work in the boardinghouse? To insist she keep her school?
5. How does Ethan tread the line between smoothing the mayor and town councilors’ feathers and doing what he feels is right? How could he have done better?
6. Ethan sees Gertrude as two separate people: plain, practical Gert and sweet, lovable Trudy. When he grieves over his army experience, close-lipped Hiram advises him to take God at his word and move on. How does this help him in his relationship with Gert-Trudy and let them merge into one? And should Hiram perhaps take his own advice?