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Selection Info & Discussion Guides

A New Promise
By Julie Eller

A New Promise, the debut novel of author Julie Eller, weaves a powerful story of family hardship, renewed faith, and rising hope. Scott Parnell, father of two and husband to a wife debilitated by Huntington's disease, lives life in denial. Struggling with his role as father and unwilling to let go of his wife despite her expressed wishes, Scott distracts himself with work on the family farm, burying his problems and his faith in God in an effort to avoid the harsh realities of life. On the brink of losing control - his troubled teenage son Tyler steeped in substance abuse and his 12-year-old daughter Tawnya wrestling with her self-image- Scott struggles to make it on his own, when his career-driven sister-in-law, Celeste, unexpectedly enters his broken life. Through their struggles, their family finds renewed faith in God, as they learn that only He can heal their wounded hearts and restore their diminished hopes.

A New Promise is a moving story of a broken family, drawn together by a tragic, difficult situation. Together, they discover emotional and spiritual healing in releasing control to an all-knowing and all-powerful God, who faithfully promises to be near to the broken-hearted.


Discussion Questions

1. When faced with extremely difficult circumstances, especially those involving the ones we love, it can be easy to question God's care and provision. Throughout A New Promise, Scott struggles with trusting God's plan for his family. Have you ever experienced a time when you questioned God's provision and care in your own life?

2. Each of the novel's characters, in turn, discover the truth of God's promises - that He is near to the broken and faithful to the hurting. How His promise in Psalm 34:18 speak to you?

3. Or, have you found yourself on the giving end like Celeste? Have you ever had an experience where you tried to ease the pain and bring comfort to another hurting person? What was the result?

4. Catherine's love for her daughter Celeste is stifled by her bitterness and resentment towards Celeste's financial success. Many of us can identify with Catherine's feelings. Honestly evaluate your heart and search for any similar emotions of resentment at the prosperity of some, when other people suffer so much.

5. A New Promise is a book filled with emotion, not the least of which is pain experienced at the loss of a friend or loved one. Ty grieves for his best friend Dwight and feels impending guilt for the situation. Scott mourns for his wife, unwilling to remove life support despite her wishes. If you have experienced such pain at losing a loved one, what did you learn about God's faithfulness from the situation? How could you comfort someone experiencing something similar?

 

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