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The Timepiece Reading Group Guide

Readers' Discussion Questions

1. The Timepiece opens with a quote from Amos Bronson Alcott, “Time ripens the substance of life as the seasons mellow and perfect its fruits. The best apples fall latest and keep longest.” What do you think the writer meant by this? How do you see that theme play out in the novel?

2. As the Millers explained details of Amish life and customs to Adeline, did you learn anything new about this often-misunderstood people group? Which piece of information was most interesting to you?

3. In inviting Adeline to stay at the very beginning, Rhoda showed great kindness to the daughter no one knew about. What do you think motivated Rhoda? How do you think she has grown since The Tinderbox?

4. The Double Wedding Ring quilt brought back memories for Adeline, just as the pocket watch did for Earnest. Is there a gift you or your family has received that holds special meaning for you?

5. As Sylvia and Adeline compared wedding traditions in their respective cultures, what did you appreciate about each way of celebrating?

6. If you were in Sylvia’s place, do you think you would have shared her hesitation about introducing Adeline to others, especially Titus’s family? Do you think she handled the situation well?

7. Earnest tells Adeline that he doesn’t mind living without all of the comforts of an Englisher because, “When all’s said and done, it’s people, not things, that bring the most joy.” Have you found that to be true in your life?

8. Did you have doubts about whether Sylvia should marry Titus? If so, at what point did you start to wonder?

9. Because of the Millers, Adeline was motivated both to read her mother’s journal and to read the Bible. Why do you think they affected her in that way?

10. Earnest says, “It’s not always a bad thing when one’s foundation is shaken.” Have you seen this to be true in your own life? If so, how?

11. Did you expect the new preacher to allow Sylvia to travel and be in Adeline’s wedding party? What are some good reasons both for preventing it or allowing it?

12. Near the end of the book, Adeline says, “I have no doubt in my mind that God brought me here . . . to you and to your family.” When Adeline first came, did you have any theories about how her visit would affect the Millers? How do you think the Millers helped Adeline? How did she help them?