Reading Group Guide
1. Hannah and Dilly grew up with a different perspective of the way their parents showed them love. Have you grown up in a household with siblings who have either a different perspective or different memories of how you and they were parented? Do you know others who have different experiences from sibling to sibling?
2. At one point in the story Hannah realizes the small town she left behind had a greater sense of community than the big city she misses. How do you perceive the difference between small towns and big cities? Do you think the level of community is different depending on where you live, or do you think it depends on each individual to establish and maintain their own sense of community no matter where they’re living?
3. Have you known anyone who went to prison? What do you think it’s like for someone who made one bad choice, rather than a pattern or series of mistakes, that landed them in prison?
4. Although some of the actions of the advocates for people with disabilities are taken to extreme in this story, did you as the reader find yourself understanding the reason for such a group to exist?
5. Did you find yourself understanding why Dilly was driven to do what she attempted to do, or do you think a loving mother would never let herself get so depressed that she’d consider such drastic measures?
6. Do you think a balance can be reached between letting a person isolate if they have family challenges, and being available if needed? How would you let someone know you’re really there to help, beyond just another “How-are-you-today-I’m-fine” interchange?
7. How do you feel about persons with disabilities? Are you afraid of them? Uncomfortable around them? Do you think you could do what Hannah thought she should have done, step up and help out in the care of her disabled niece, even though she didn’t think she was capable?
8. Why do you think God has allowed physicians the knowledge and ability to save children’s lives with such profound disabilities, and yet a complete cure is still impossible, allowing life with such severe limitations?
9. Do you think Dilly’s former mother-in-law was right to try keeping Dilly away from Sierra? Do you think she did it out for love for Sierra, or spite against Dilly?
10. Do you think it’s possible for a man and woman to be “just friends” the way Hannah first defined her relationship with Mac? If either one of them would have married someone else, do you think they could have maintained their friendship?