Skip to Main Content (Press Enter)

A Tendering in the Storm Reader’s Guide

By Jane Kirkpatrick

A Tendering in the Storm by Jane Kirkpatrick


Questions and Topics for Discussion

1. This is a story about giving and receiving. Who gave up the most in this story? Who knew how to receive and why are both capabilities important in our lives and in the life of a family?

2. This is also a story about community and individuals within a community having a voice and making choices. Could Emma have found a way to remain at Willapa and find contentment there? What voice did Louisa have at Aurora Mills? Did either woman pass up opportunities to be heard more clearly?

3. Emma and Louisa both speak of the great longing, the Sehnsucht, that is within each of us. In the German, the word implies something compelling, almost addictive in the human spirit that drives us forward on a spiritual journey. What was Emma’s great longing? Louisa’s? Did these women achieve satisfaction in this second book of the series? Is there a relationship between human intimacy and such spiritual longing?

4. Give some examples of when Emma “began to weave” without waiting for God’s thread. What were the consequences? Is it wise to “begin to weave” without knowing the outcome?

5. The author uses the metaphor of light throughout the book. Is having enough light for the next step really enough? What role does light play in Emma’s discovery that finding meaning in life’s tragedies requires reflection? Give some examples of Emma’s reflective thinking. When might she have been more reflective? Would you describe Louisa as a reflective woman? What prevents us from being more reflective in our everyday lives?

6. How can we receive without feeling obligated? What qualities of obligation sometimes diminish gifts that others might give us? Why does that make it difficult to receive them?

7. Strength is often defined as self-sufficiency. How did Emma’s strength reveal itself? What made is possible for her to ultimately accept the gifts of others?

8. Did Emma use her sons in order to get her own way? What supports your opinion?

9. How much of Emma’s feeling of isolation was self-imposed; how much was isolation related to the demands of the landscape and how much was a spiritual isolation or feeling of abandonment? Did you agree with how the author conveyed these qualities of isolation?

10. Did Emma make the correct choice at the close of the book? Have you ever had to make a choice where all options appeared poor? What helped you take the next step?

Back to Top