Reading Group Guide
1. At the end of After the Leaves Fall, Julia’s faith in God seemed to be maturing. Where is she at the beginning of this story? Has your faith journey ever mimicked hers?
2. Nellie warns Julia about the danger of holding on to a bitter root on p. 126. Have you ever been in a situation like Julia’s where you needed to forgive someone? What effect did it have on your life?
3. Why do you think Janice behaves the way she does throughout the novel? What is motivating her? Is it the same need that is motivating Julia?
4. On p. 231, Nellie says to Julia: “You’re not nearly as lost as you think you are.” Do you think that’s true? What did Nellie mean by that?
5. Nellie tells Julia on p. 234 that seeds planted among the thorns don’t necessarily die but are choked out. What are some of the “thorns” in your life that threaten to choke out God’s grace?
6. On page 293, Julia calls herself and Janice a “group of Simons.” What does she mean by that? What does she mean when she observes that they are “not enough, not enough, not enough”?
7. Why do you think Julia was finally able to forgive Janice?
8. How has Julia changed by the end of this story? What was the biggest catalyst for that change?
9. Do you think Julia makes the right decision regarding her future at the end of the story? Why or why not?
10. What was your favorite metaphor, line or scene from the story? Why?