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Books by
Nicole Baart



Reading Group Guides



Nicole Baart
Tyndale House Publishers
ISBN: 9781414316239

Discussion Questions
About the Book
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About the Book

Julia DeSmit is finally learning to accept her new life. Optimistic and anxious to begin again after dropping out of college, she is taking fumbling steps down a challenging yet hope-filled road. But the careful existence Julia has begun to build falls hopelessly to pieces when her estranged mother, Janice, appears on the front porch one icy March night. Mother and daughter have not seen or talked in ten years, and a decade of anger, resentment, and bitterness follows in Janice’s wake, along with a surprise Julia could never have anticipated. Julia is convinced that which is broken cannot be mended. Yet when she faces the very decision her mother did years before, she begins to realize what it means to truly accept grace. Will it be her undoing, or the impetus for a change she’d never dared hope for?

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Discussion Questions

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?

© Copyright 2017 by Nicole Baart. Reprinted with permission by Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.

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