Reading Group Guide for Sunrise on the Battery


1. In the opening of the novel, Mary Lynn thinks God is trying to get her attention.  What do you make of what happened to her on her morning jog the day before Christmas?

2. Do you believe God can break through the seemingly natural order of things and heal a wounded leg?  Why or why not?

3. In the beginning of the story, do you think Mary Lynn and Jackson have a strong marriage?  In the Christmas day scene where Catherine receives a new car, Mary Lynn says she has become a woman “who bites her tongue.”   What has caused this committed relationship to begin to deteriorate?

4.  Jackson feels that his father woefully shortchanged him during his childhood.  Why?  In what ways are both Jackson and Mary Lynn still bound by (and living in reaction to) their childhood wounds? 

5. Before Jackson’s conversion, what kind of parent is he? Consider his original mission statement. Why is he determined to give his children the life he never had?  Is there a down-side or danger to this mission?

6. Why is it necessary for Catherine to have a point- of-view in this story?  What do you gain from her perspective?

7. What kind of parent do you think Catherine will grow up to be?

8. There are several “running” scenes in this book.  What does the act of running come to symbolize for Catherine and Mary Lynn?

9. Describe Jackson’s conversion and Mary Lynn’s reaction to it.  Why does she have such a hard time once her prayer for her husband to have a faith gets answered?  What does his newfound faith reveal about her faith and the idols in her own life?

10.  What do you make of Jackson’s zealousness?  Why doesn’t he have any inhibitions about sharing his faith or about reaching out to all walks of life?  Do you find his zeal refreshing or do you think he’s too pushy?  Why or why not? 

11.  How has Mary Lynn and Jackson’s relationship changed by the end of the story?  In what ways has their marriage been renewed?

12.  The Scoville family mission statement changes dramatically over the course of the novel.  By the end of the story the new mission is as follows:  To love the Lord back with all of our heart, all our soul and all our mind and to love our neighbors to the ends of the earth as we would love ourselves.  Imagine the Scovilles five years from now.  What do their lives look like?


Comments are closed.