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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

A Promise to Love

1. In your opinion, what are the differences in the way our culture defines love versus the biblical definition? Do you think this is affecting Christian marriages? If so, how?

2. In the beginning of the book, the heroine is not portrayed as a beautiful woman. That is one of the inner struggles Joshua has to overcome in accepting her proposal. At the dance, when Joshua realizes he wants to fight any man who dances with her, do you think he is finally seeing her outward beauty brought about by a new dress and a new hairdo, or is it her inward beauty that has finally captivated him?

3. The model on the front cover is very beautiful. It represents the Ingrid she eventually becomes in Joshua’s eyes. Would you have bought the book had the woman on the cover been portrayed as Ingrid appeared in the beginning chapter? 

4. As a reader, did you “fall in love” with Joshua? If so, was there a specific incident that made that happen?

5. As a reader, did you find yourself admiring Ingrid? If so, was there a specific incident that made that happen?

6. Joshua and Ingrid had a rushed, makeshift wedding that cost nothing, and yet their marriage ultimately went the distance. How much, if anything, do you think the cost or lavishness of a wedding plays into the longevity of a marriage?

7. Were you surprised by the prevalence and “big business” aspect of abortifacients in the 1800s? What factors do you think contributed to this prevalence?

8. Some people believe that wolves are approximately ten times more intelligent than dogs. Because of that, the crossbreeding of wolves and dogs is becoming more prevalent. Do you approve?

9. She-Wolf’s master is an old woman who lives life exactly on her own terms as long as it does not go against the commands of God. Did you find yourself envying her independent spirit or did you worry about her?

10. The phenomenon of the forest fire portrayed in the story was taken entirely from first-person newspaper accounts and journals of the actual fire of 1871. What, if anything, surprised you about a forest fire of that magnitude?

11. In the end, after struggling for years to get his farm going, Joshua ends up taking a very different career path. Were you pleased or disappointed that he didn’t go back to White Rock and start over?

12. The cherry orchard was meant to represent the dreams we have for ourselves that through no fault of our own sometimes burn up and blow away. Have you ever had that happen to you? Did the Lord show you a different path? Have you seen God’s mercy and wisdom in following that alternate path?

A Promise to Love
by Serena B. Miller