Reading Group Questions for Above and Beyond by Jessica James

Above and Beyond is a sweet romance that takes place during the American Civil War.

1. Characters personality traits, motivations, inner qualities.
Why do characters do what they do?
Are their actions justified?
Describe the dynamics between characters
How has the past shaped their lives?
Do you admire or disapprove of them?

2.  Do the main characters change by the end of the book? Do they grow or mature? Do they learn something about themselves and how the world works?

3.  What main ideas—themes—does the author explore? (Consider the title, often a clue to a theme.) Does the author use symbols to reinforce the main ideas?

4.   What passages strike you as insightful, even profound? Perhaps a bit of dialog that’s funny or poignant or that encapsulates a character? Maybe there’s a particular comment that states the book’s thematic concerns?

5. Is the ending satisfying? If so, why? If not, why not…and how would you change it?

6. If you could ask the author a question, what would you ask? Have you read other books by the same author? If so how does this book compare. If not, does this book inspire you to read others?

7. Has this novel changed you—broadened your perspective? Have you learned something new or been exposed to different ideas about people or a certain part of the world?

8. Is there anything in this book to which you personally can relate? Is there any advice or ideas you can take and apply to your own life?

9. Did the setting of the novel detract or add to your enjoyment of the story? If the book is not set in the present day, are the characters and their spirituality believable and applicable to modern-day matters of faith?

10.  Were any members of the group familiar with the author prior to reading this book? If so, how does this work compare to his or her previous titles?


Reading Group Questions for Noble Cause (Shades of Gray) by Jessica James

Noble Cause (originally Shades of Gray) is a bittersweet story set in Northern Virginia during the American Civil War. A Confederate officer and a young woman share equal conviction and passion for opposing causes; when their paths cross by the fates of war their destinies become entwined forever.

1. What do you think the author intended to convey by the title?

2. Both of the characters grow. Which growth do you think was the most profound?

3. What scene surprised you the most?

4. What scene did you find the most poignant?

5. How did this historical fiction novel change your view of the causes of the War Between the States?

6. How did the novel change your thoughts on the men who fought for the Confederacy and today’s use of the Confederate flag?

7. What do you feel is the main theme of this book?

8. Name a few ways in which society differed in the 1860s from now.

9. How did high moral values and honor contribute to the outcome of this story?

10. Would you liked to have seen a different ending? How would you have written it?

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