Reading Group Guide
1. Heather Gordon had a privileged upbringing and is now going to live in the meager conditions of a small home in the Highlands. How do you think she will adjust? Do you think she has a good attitude about the move? How would you react in her situation?
2. This story raises questions about class issues. Are we born to one class of people or can we move between different classes during our lives? What makes someone high class while someone else is seen as low class? Have you ever looked down on someone from another background? Have you ever been judged for your class associations?
3. The story of the twin brothers raised in different circumstances brings up the issue of nature vs. nurture. How have their different upbringings contributed to who they are as adults? Are their differences completely explained by living apart? Or might they be intrinsically different?
4. Throughout this book the characters’ conceptions of what is noble are tested. What do you think makes someone noble? Blood? Actions? Something else?
5. Heather and Duncan both judge each other according to outer appearance and behavior when they first meet. How were they right about each other? How were their assessments wrong? What danger is there in developing a judgment of someone before getting to know them?
6. Loyalty is a pervasive theme in the book. Should we be loyal first to family, country, a particular group or party in a country (like Mary’s loyal supporters), God, ourselves, or something else? Who do you think was most loyal in this book? Least?
7. When Duncan finds out the truth of his parentage he feels lost and without a family. He doesn’t fully belong to either world. Have you ever felt that you didn’t belong?
8. Robert Gordon has apparently used his involvement in the plot to save Duncan as an excuse to play God. What do you think of his actions? Do you think there is any merit to his position? Or has he done an injustice to Duncan and Colin? When have you dealt with someone who is self-serving to the detriment of others?
9. Heather makes a decision about her relationship with Duncan that will change her life. Do you think she makes the right one? Do you think she can truly be happy with the life she’s chosen?
10. This story shows that life sometimes takes us places we don’t expect and that God can answer some prayer in surprising ways. How have you experienced a surprising answer to prayer? Do you think you are in control of your life? Why or why not? If not, who or what is?