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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Twice Promised: The Blue Willow Brides, Book 2

1. Readers of Book 1 in the series, Deeply Devoted, met Greta and Bryan at the beginning of their relationship. As Greta reflected in this book, their courtship was immediate and intense. They truly fell in love at first sight and their passion for one another was undeniable. How is that different from the way Greta and Jess grew to love one another? Greta mentions that her feelings for Jess are more mature and possibly more lasting. What do you think? Is it better to fall in love in a whirlwind of passion or to get to know someone slowly and discover that you are truly compatible?

2. Why do you think Jess was so upset by the changes and improvements that Greta and Cora made in the mercantile? He knew that organization and tidiness were not his strengths. Why did it take time for him to see their contributions as valuable and not intrusive? Was Jess struggling to relinquish even a small bit of control over the store? Why was this particularly difficult for him?

3. What propelled Zach to write the letters to Cora and Greta in the first place? Was it truly a fear or concern for Jess or something else that drove him to seek mail-order brides?

4. Were you surprised that Greta and Cora became friends rather than rivals? If you were in the same situation how do you think you would respond? Would you find a friend or an enemy? Why do you think Greta and Cora developed the relationship they did?

5. Cora’s faith is fervent and new, inspiring Jess, Zach, and Greta who were each raised in a Christian home. The persecution Cora receives from her parents, and her eventual separation from them after her conversion, seems shocking and upsetting to Greta and Zach. Have you experienced any type of relationship broken apart over matters of belief? What happened? Was that relationship reparable? Do you think Cora will ever reconcile with her parents?

6. We don’t know much about Caleb’s background. What do you think drove him to try to rob the mercantile? Did you feel that the others could or should trust Caleb right away? Would you have been able to trust him? Why, with his obvious reservations, do you think Jess acquiesced to Cora’s pleas to give Caleb a second chance?

7. Though they seem incompatible and clash several times at the beginning of the story, Jess and Greta eventually discover how well they complement one another. In your experience, do opposites attract? Is it beneficial or detrimental to a happy and healthy marriage for two people to be so very different?

8. Even after Jess and Greta and Zach and Cora have revealed their true feelings to each other, the couples cannot bring themselves to confess their love to their friends. In the subsequent confusion and discomfort, each of them become more insecure and uncertain of his or her chosen spouse, friends, and own feelings --- even though his or her feelings are clearly apparent to everyone around them. Why do you think the couples were so blind and insecure about everything their hearts were telling them? Have you experienced something like this?

9. If you did not read the author’s note at the end of the book, take a moment and read it now. Do you or does someone you love live with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)? Did you recognize the symptoms? How does this disorder impact your life and relationships? What do you do to cope?

10. Granny is a wise and loving woman. She is so important to her grandsons and then to Greta, Cora, and Caleb. Do you have a woman in your life who is able to share her deep wisdom and clear insights with you? Tell the group about her and why you value her.

Twice Promised: The Blue Willow Brides, Book 2
by Maggie Brendan