Reading Group Guide
1. The young Maggie had rocky beginnings, losing her mother and then being brought up by strangers. When she leaves as a young woman to search for her past, what was the significance of changing her name? Have you ever wanted to change your name and start a new life?
2. Did fame change who Mitzi was at the core? What effect did her early years have on the woman she became? How did her faith act as a compass and give her strength during tough times?
3. The first meeting between Mitzi and Brooke appears to be coincidental. When they meet a second time, Mitzi declares it providential. Do you believe in providence? Have you had incidents in your own life that went beyond coincidence?
4. Mitzi wants to help Brooke and offers her refuge. Later, Brooke helps Mitzi. Have you ever had a friend who was much older or younger than you? What did each of you gain from that friendship?
5. Brooke’s sketch of the sparrow with a broken wing represented her own brokenness with her family and her fiancé. Why was she willing to stay in the relationship with Lance? How might her life have turned out if she had not called off her engagement? What advice would you have given her?
6. How did it make you feel when Brooke’s mother refused to accept the truth about Brooke’s abuse from Lance? How did her mother’s ambition and denying the truth in the past play into this?
7. Lance was a victim of abuse, too. What was your view of him by the end of the story? How might his relationship with Brooke been different if he’d gone for counseling as she suggested?
8. Gabe and Mitzi were victims of another sort --- that of Alzheimer’s. When we first see her, Mitzi has accepted the future, but dreads the day when she loses Gabe. What does Mitzi fear most about her future? What sustains her? Have you ever lost a loved one who you knew had a short time left? How did you prepare for the eventual loss?
9. Mitzi discovered she was meant to be a singer. Drew Caprice chose medicine in spite of his dad’s wishes. They both followed their hearts, but Brooke gave up her drawing to pursue what others thought she should do. Have you ever felt drawn to do something but didn’t? What kept you from it? Would you do things differently if you had the chance?
10. Red Carlisle gave Mitzi a job and the opportunity to sing. Have you had someone recognize your talents and encourage you? Do you encourage others when you see they have a special gift?
11. Music can stir strong emotions and link us to others the way that “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” did for Mitzi. What songs do you remember from your own past? Are the memories joyful, sad, or poignant? What is your favorite pop tune past or present? Your favorite hymn?
12. Brooke has begun to fall in love with Drew by the end of the story. Do you think she is wise to proceed with caution? What do you predict happens with Drew and Brooke in the future?
13. The swans at Swan Lake represent the lifetime love of Mitzi and Gabe. Do you think it was always easy for them to remain devoted? Does faith help in building strong marriages? Have you known people who modeled love that lasts a lifetime? What was their secret for success?
14. Alzheimer’s is an epidemic today with 5.3 million Americans having the disease. With the advancing age of our population, this number is predicted to soar in the next decade or two. Early diagnosis and treatment may slow the progression of the disease. You can find out more about the symptoms, current treatments, and ways to cope with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s at http://www.helpguide.org/elder/alzheimers_disease_symptoms_stages.htm
15. Each day thousands of women and children (and some men) are abused in the home, workplace, and in dating relationships. If you are a victim of abuse or know someone who is, I want you to do two things. First, pray. God loves you and wants the best for you. Second, please know that you are not alone and help is available. Talk to a friend, family member, pastor, or counselor. Here are a couple of resources that may help you. My prayer is that you would be safe and find healing. Visit HelpGuide.org, The National Domestic Hotline or call 1.800.799.SAFE (7233)