Reading Group Guide
1. Well aware of her doctor’s advice, why would Ruth Fisher endanger her own life to give birth? Infertility is heartbreaking for all couples, but how is it uniquely tragic for an Amish woman?
2. What are some reasons why Nathan is initially reluctant to handle his newborn son?
3. Abby is stoic even while facing bail set at half a million dollars. What does she turn to during her incarceration?
4. Why is Daniel resentful of Catherine and reluctant to answer her questions regarding his cousin Isaiah?
5. Why is the Grabers’ Amish district in such a quandary about raising Abby’s bail?
6. Dr. Weller’s visit is pivotal for Abby. What information does he convey that helps her to deal with separation from her family?
7. Aunt Iris at times seems impatient with her nephew. Why does she demand so much from a young man trying to come to terms with loss?
8. What gifts has God given Isaiah that more than make up for his lack of hearing and speech?
9. Frightening news from her public defender sends Abby deep into the Old Testament. What stories and biblical heroes help her to keep her faith?
10. Daniel gets a firsthand look at Catherine and Isaiah during the swimming outing. Why is he softening his attitude toward his sister-in-law?
11. Why does Nathan finally reach out to the English social worker?
12. When the judge has a change of heart, Abby has an opportunity to go home. Why does she choose to return to her jail cell instead?
13. Although the Amish rarely display temper, what causes Nathan to lash out at the other grief therapy participants?
14. What sours Abby’s poignant visit with Daniel and her beloved children during their jail visitation?
15. What happened in Isaiah’s past that makes outings among other people, both Amish and English, difficult for him?
16. Why does Abigail change her mind about revealing the person who had supplied the anti-hemorrhage drug?
17. When Isaiah takes Catherine to his “secret garden,” why does he relent and agree to go to the volleyball party?
18. Abby makes an unlikely friend while incarcerated. How does this friendship benefit both women?
19. Why had Nathan stayed away from church services for so long?
20. What is Isaiah missing in his life that makes Catherine bound and determined to teach him to speak, and especially to read?