Restoring Love, part of New Hope Publishers’ line of contemporary missional fiction, demonstrates how God can turn our greatest tragedies and failures into beautiful acts of love and grace that can impact the lives of others. Readers will connect with the realistic characters and find they can relate to the complex situations that makes Jennifer Slattery’s book so appealing. Readers will be inspired to see how God wants to use us to restore people’s perception of love in action.
Please note: If you want a lighthearted discussion, choose the “Just For Fun” questions. If you want to dig deeper and discuss the spiritual issues and themes raised in the novel, choose the “Going Deeper” questions.
Just For Fun:
- Which character do you like most in this novel and why?
- Which character do you like least and why?
- What did you admire most about Bianca?
- What frustrated you most about her?
- What do you think her greatest challenge was?
- If you could tell Bianca one thing, what would that be?
- If you could tell Reid one thing, what would that be?
- What do you think was the primary cause of Cassie Joe’s behavior?
- What did you admire most about Angela?
- What frustrated you most about Angela?
- In what ways were Angela and Mitch’s inner struggles similar?
- In what ways does the novel reveal the power of God’s grace?
- What did you enjoy about the overall setting of this novel?
- In the first scene, we meet Bianca’s co-worker Dawn. Do you believe Dawn was a positive or negative influence on Bianca? Why? Have you had friends like Dawn?
- Do you think Dawn’s concerns for Bianca were genuine? Why or why not? If she were genuinely concerned, how might she have expressed her concern differently?
- A driving theme in this novel is the struggle of single parenthood. What were some struggles Bianca faced as a single parent?
- How are Bianca’s struggles similar to those single parents in your community might face? How might those struggles impact their children’s long-term success? How can we as a church help?
- Why did Angela long to help Bianca?
- Consider generational poverty, which is when at least two generations within a family have been born into poverty. What do you think are some of the causes of generational poverty? Did you see any signs of this in Restoring Love?
- What do you believe helped to soften Bianca’s heart to Christ? What can you learn from her experience? How might that apply to your life and evangelism efforts?
- What were some of the challenges Angela faced when trying to reach out to Bianca? How would you have responded in similar situations?
- As a new believer struggling with shame, we see Angela beginning to establish a Christian worldview. In what ways did you see this in the novel? Why do you think she was confused by “Christian rules”? How prevalent do you think this is among unbelievers or new believers who come to our churches or interact with Christians? What are some ways we can respond (or not respond) to help them feel loved, accepted, and safe as they grow in their relationship with Christ?
- How much of Angela’s own inner lies (false beliefs about herself and the world in general) impacted her relationship with Mitch? Can you relate? How do inner lies impact us, and can you share an example from your life or someone you know?
- What were some of the root causes of the conflict between Mitch and his son?
- Why do you think Mitch’s son ultimately asked for help?
- What do you believe are some of the underlying causes of addiction?
- How might you have reacted or acted differently from Mitch or his ex-wife when dealing with an addicted son or daughter?