1. When the Christmas season begins, Annie realizes how homesick she is. How do you feel when Christmas songs and decorations begin popping up the day after Thanksgiving? Do you think it honors God or detracts from the meaning of Christmas?
2. By the end of the third chapter, we see that God is going to use Annie’s skills, which she acquired during her period of rebellion, to minister to her family and her community. How does this coincide with the Bible’s teachings of grace?
3. At the end of Chapter Nine, Annie’s mother reminds her of the Scripture found in Matthew 7:12 to treat others as we’d want to be treated. Annie’s claims that she knows the Scripture, to which Rebekah replies, “I expect you do. Most of us know it. The knowing is easy. It’s the doing that gives us trouble.” What response did you have to this conversation?
4. Chapter Eleven is one of my favorite scenes, where Aaron and Faith have their child at home. My mother was born at home, so I very much enjoyed writing this. What was your reaction to this scene, and what are your thoughts on home-birthing in our age of modern medical technological advancements?
5. Samuel learns a young girl in their community, Sharon Smucker, is pregnant and will be needing medical care. Even the Amish community occasionally needs to deal with issues such as single mothers. What did you think about how this aspect of the story developed?
6. In Chapter Sixteen, Annie confesses to Samuel that she understood Bishop Levi’s sermon, even thought she’d taken it to heart, but then a few hours later all the peace had melted away. Have you ever had trouble holding on to a special, spiritual moment?
7. The Amish believe strongly in accepting Gotte’s wille and moving on with your life, even when tragedy strikes. Samuel had a bit of trouble with this, but finally comes to the conclusion that he can honor Mary and still love Annie. What are some ways that we can honor those who have gone on to be with the Lord?
8. Samuel overreacts to what he thinks he sees in the barn when he encounters Annie and David there. His reaction was emotional, not logical, and reflected past hurts and present insecurities. In the end, God uses this misunderstanding to bring him closer to Annie. What is necessary for God to use our mistakes for our own good?
9. Annie wonders if she can really love Samuel, when they’ve only been re-acquainted for less than a month. What do you think? Does true love take time?
10. One of the themes of the book is forgiveness. Discuss a situation in your life where you have given, received, or need to offer forgiveness.