Reading Group Guide
1. Sarah believes she has no choice but to become a mail-order bride. Given what had happened to her and the time period she lived in, what other choices did she have?
2. Both Sarah and Clay struggle with the need to forgive. Have you ever believed, as they do, that some sins are unforgivable? What changed your mind?
3. Do you believe it is more difficult to forgive a family member than a friend or neighbor? Why?
4. Their love for their siblings is part of what motivates Sarah and Clay. What would you do to help one of your siblings? What would you not do?
5. Sarah has a deeply rooted fear of horses. Is there anything you fear as much as she fears mounting a horse? Can you imagine circumstances that would force you to confront and overcome that fear?
6. Even though being a doctor is an important part of Clay’s life, he refuses to treat the citizens of Ladreville. Do you agree with his decision? If not, what would you have done in his place?
7. Do you believe Zach’s arrival at the Bar C was the answer to Sarah’s prayers? What other events in the book are the result of prayer?
8. The town of Ladreville is divided by ancient enmities. What divisions do you see in your own town? What caused them? What can be done to overcome them?
9. Sarah believes it is necessary to keep part of her past secret. Do you think she is right? Are there aspects of your life that you want to hide? If so, what would force you to reveal them?
10. Clay believes he’s the only person who can avenge Austin’s death. Do you agree? What else could he have done?
11. Were you surprised by the identity of Austin’s killer? Why or why not?
12. Throughout the book, Clay refused to tell Sarah that he was the author of her paper roses. Do you believe he was right to reveal his authorship at the end? How would the story and their future life together be different if he had not told her?
13. As the book ends, both Sarah and Clay recognize that what has happened in their lives --- both good and bad --- is part of God’s plan. How do you see his plan reflected in your life? Have there been times when you struggled to see the plan?