Reading Group Guide
Angela Hunt says she enjoys writing illustrative stories that answer a question or point to a moral or lesson. Her novelist, Jordan Casey, decides to write an allegory, an extended metaphor in which objects, persons, and actions are equated with meanings that lie outside the narrative itself.
- How do you interpret the elements of the interior story, the allegory involving William Case?
- How do you interpret the elements of the outer story, the situation with Jordan and her family?
- Jordan thinks of herself as a creator when she populates her story world. Yet how is she like William, a created being in another, broader world? What does she learn over the scope of the story?
- Theologians have listed several consequences of Adam's fall in the Garden of Eden. What are the consequences of William's wrong choice in Paradise? How does Jordan suffer the consequences of her choices?
Consider the story of the blind man whom Jesus healed:
As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. "Teacher," his disciples asked him, "why was this man born blind? Was it a result of his own sins or those of his parents?"
"It was not because of his sins or his parents' sins," Jesus answered. "He was born blind so the power of God could be seen in him." ( John 9:1-3)
- Ramirez told Eden that Casey caused him to be injured. Zack Kerrigan suffers from a mental condition. In view of the above Scripture, why do Ramirez and Zack suffer? How should this comfort us when we experience physical difficulties?
- Church prayer lists are usually crowded with requests concerning physical difficulties, but how often do you read of people requesting prayer for mental conditions? What can we do to comfort and encourage those whose loved ones suffer from mental disorders?
- With which character in this story do you most identify? Why?
- How do the words of Psalm 139:15-16 apply to this novel?
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.