About the Book
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About the Book
In the small town of Stewartville, Michigan, Mona is struggling to keep her antique shop alive. But with bills piling high and a checkbook balance falling to negative numbers, Mona is ready to consider hiding from the world.
Imagine her surprise when she discovers her fifteen-year-old-niece, Hallie, has done that very thing --- at Mona’s beach house! Guilt-ridden, Hallie flees to her aunt’s summerhouse, seeking shelter from her parents and her past.
Problems with the antique shop fade into the background as Mona and Hallie face the pain and memories of the unfortunate accident on the beach that changed both of their lives. Mona has little time to find a way into Hallie’s heart before her parents return to take her home. But not before attractive furniture designer bestows a mysterious gift and Mona is forced to confront her need to forgive other in her own painful past.
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1. We begin to learn in chapter one that Mona has not had a good relationship with her father. How can experiences with our parents or others color the way we see situations in our daily lives? Do they color the way we think God sees those events? Do they color the way we see God? In what ways?
2. Hallie’s dad tells her, “Someday, when you’re my age, you’ll realize that most rules are optional, especially the ones that get you where you want to go." In our society there are many rules that are spoken as well as rules – like social or cultural “rules” – that are unspoken. Which rules are not optional? Which rules are optional? How can rules move us forward? How can they hold us back?
3. Hallie’s dad surprises her with honest words about needing her back – really needing her. She begins to cry, responding, “I don’t think the old Hallie is in there anymore, Dad. If she is, I don’t know where to find her. I thought maybe I could find her here, where I lost her.” Is it possible to lose ourselves? If so, is there any good that comes from losing ourselves?
4. At one time Hallie believed God was in control of the world and had a special plan for her life. But her beliefs changed. What made Hallie so vulnerable?
5. Sadie has an inaccurate image of how others view her. She cannot believe she is forgiven, and she especially cannot believe she could be trusted by others. What kinds of lies could Sadie be believing about herself? About others? Where are those lies coming from?
6. Near the conclusion of chapter nine, Mona says that she trusts something bigger than her pain. She says, “...pain always drives us toward God or away from Him, and I’ve allowed it to drive me toward Him. That’s a precious thing to me.” Do you believe you have this choice? Do you believe it is possible to go back and forth?
7. In chapter twelve, Mona did not immediately tell Ellen that she could not find Hallie. Is it a lie to choose the timing to tell a truth? Was it an act of deceit to not tell Ellen immediately, or an act of mercy?
8. Elsie McFeeney has years of life experience to back up the advice she writes to Hallie, “God gives us a fresh page each and every day, Hallie. This is for your next page and many more to come. Choose carefully what you write.” On the inside of the diary Elsie wrote, “To Hallie with love on the first day of the rest of your life.” Do we really have a “fresh page” for each new day? Can you choose to believe that? Can you choose what to write?
9. Throughout the book Ellen appears selfish, demanding, and even mean. What do you think lies behind her outward actions and appearance? What do you think Ellen is really like inside, in her deepest heart and mind?
10. Adam Dean and Mona did not get off to a very good start. How did Adam’s actions toward Mona, even though she had misjudged him and treated him unfairly, help to heal and create a friendship?
© Copyright 2017 by Shelly Beach. Reprinted with permission by Kregel Publications. All rights reserved.
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