9. During the course of the book, Liberty’s hatred for Rebels transformed into compassion for wounded men, no matter where they hailed from. When and how has your perspective on an enemy changed?
10. Dr. Stephens used opium to deaden his senses to emotional pain, even though he knew it harmed his body. How do people do this in our culture today? Other than drugs, what else do we do when we want to numb our own heartaches?
11. At one point in the story, Silas asked Dr. O’Leary if he believed people could really change. How would you have answered him? What evidence of change have you seen in people’s lives? What caused it?
12. Silas was held captive by the idea that God would not listen to him because of wrongs he committed in the past, or for neglecting to do what he knew was right. Do you believe there is anything that God cannot forgive?
13. One of the greatest heartaches at Gettysburg was all the unidentified bodies buried in unmarked locations. This was especially grievous for Southern family members who hated the fact that their soldiers were buried on what was then “foreign soil.” What would you do if you did not have a gravesite for a loved one and could not recover his or her remains? How would that affect your grief?
14. Liberty, Silas, and Bella all felt categorized at some points in the novel. When have you felt like you were lumped in with a group and not given value as an individual?
15. Liberty’s change of heart toward Southern wounded earned her disdain from others. When have your loyalties or perspectives shifted, causing surprise or disapproval from those in your life?
16. At one point, Dr. Stephens told Liberty, “You don’t know what you can do until you are required to do it.” When has this proven to be true in your own life?
17. Amelia finally found solace from her grief by being able to comfort others who walked in the valley she had trod. When have you been able to use your life experiences to guide or comfort others?
18. Liberty had no choice when her farm was taken for a hospital, but no one forced her to pitch her tent at Camp Letterman and fill her days with more nursing. Why did she do that? Do we do the same thing to avoid painful realities in our own lives?
19. Some Gettysburg citizens became ill from pollution they were not aware of, such as corpses contaminating their drinking water. How do our spirits become polluted without us recognizing it? What are the warning signs, and how do we recover from that?
20. At the end of the book, Harrison Caldwell urged Bella and Liberty to write their own stories of their experiences during and after the battle. Why is it important to record our personal histories, even if it may not be significant on a national scale? How can writing be a form of therapy?