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Reading a Sacred Grounds Novel ?

Try using some of the questions below for individual reflection or group discussion.
Or, inquire about scheduling the author to call in to a book group session.

Kat’s Dreams: A Sacred Grounds Novel Book 1
Questions for Individual Reflection and Group Discussion

  1. How did you feel, or what kind of mood were you in, as you were reading Kat’s Dreams? Did your mood change as you were reading different parts of the novel? Why do you think this was the case?
  2. Which scene from Kat’s Dreams have you thought about most? Why?
  3. Both the Sacred Grounds Coffee Company and Kat Kent’s apartment are located in a repurposed church building. What difference does that setting make to the story? Would any of the characters have had a different experience if scenes in that setting had happened in other settings?
  4. How would you characterize Paul Miles based on his reluctance to tell Kat what kind of work he did? Does his hesitation reflect particular attitudes towards ministry or church life? How would you have handled getting to know Kat if you had been in Paul’s situation?
  5. Kat frequently has dreams set in the hallways of a church. In what ways do those dreams serve as a metaphor throughout the story? How does Kat, herself, use those dreams to reflect upon what she’s experiencing?
  6. Throughout the novel, Paul and Kat question to what extent and in what ways she will feel comfortable engaging church-related things. Discuss places in the novel where this issue comes up. What aspects of church allow Kat more or less comfort? How does her relationship with church-related people and things change over the course of the novel?
  7. Kat sometimes references special days in the church year (i.e. Ash Wednesday, Mandy Thursday/Holy Thursday, Easter). What significance do those days have for the story? Does knowing the day on which certain parts of the story happen (e.g. Maundy Thursday/Holy Thursday) influence your experience of those aspects of the story?
  8. Kat periodically reflects on her spirituality outside of religious settings. Which of those reflections strike you most? Which of her reflections upon God, faith, or prayer did you most resonate with? Which did you find most foreign?
  9. Kat sometimes compares Paul to Allan Reynolds. Do you see any of the similarities, either as men or as ministers, that she notices? What differences between Paul and Allan do you notice?
  10. Throughout the novel, Kat reflects on silence – when it’s helpful and appropriate versus times when it’s unhelpful and unhealthy. Do you agree with any of her reflections? Disagree? In your opinion, what factors determine whether silence functions helpfully or unhelpfully in a situation?
  11. The novel uses flashback scenes to show Kat and Allan interacting when he was her supervisor. What did you notice about their relationship during these flashback scenes? What questions did these scenes raise for you? What did or didn’t these scenes contribute to your understanding of the story?
  12. Allan and Karen Weiss both say that their relationship became inappropriate because Karen pursued Allan. Kat also observes Carol Nelson pursuing Paul. What similarities do you notice between the Allan’s situation with Karen and Paul’s situation with Carol? What differences do you notice? Considering how Allan and Paul respond to those situations, what difference strikes you most?
  13. At what point in the novel did you suspect that Kat would try again to report Allan’s behavior to his congregation? What surprised you about how her reporting him played out, and why? What repercussions, if any, do you think there will be for Allan after his final exchange with Kat?
  14. During Kat’s Dreams,Kat and Paul never fully define the nature of their relationship. What do you think will happen in their “friendship” after this novel ends? What role do you think the church will play in that?
  15. Are there any questions that you’re still thinking about as a result of reading this book? 
  16. Have you thought of anyone else whom you’d like to have read this book? If so, why?