The Undoing of Saint Silvanus
Beth Moore

1. At the beginning of the story, Adella connives to get Jillian and Olivia together. Do you think she was right to do that? Have you ever been on either the managing or receiving end of a setup like this? What are some of the pros and cons in getting involved in someone else’s relationships?

2. We don’t see much of Jillian’s friend Allie in the book, because their friendship was badly damaged by Jillian’s choosing Vince over a commitment she’d made to Allie, as well as refusing to hear Allie’s concerns about the relationship. Have you ever been on either the giving or receiving end of painful truth such as Allie tried to share with Jillian? What are some ways we can effectively “speak the truth in love” when we see someone we care about making a big mistake? (See Ephesians 4:15.) Do you think it’s important that we do so, or is it better to keep quiet to preserve the friendship?

3. The first time Jillian visits Stella, Stella apparently drugs her. Yet Jillian never seems to suspect this or to follow up on it in any way. On the contrary, she continues to pursue a relationship with Stella. What is it about Jillian that causes her to ignore—or not even to register—warning signs that something is wrong? Can you think of anything Stella did to help this process along? Have you or a loved one ever been in Jillian’s situation? What can we do to get out of such a place?

4. Stella uses tarot cards as part of her attempt to control and direct Jillian’s thinking. How did that part of the story make you feel? What do you think a Christian’s response should be to such things—are they harmless? A dangerous, slippery slope? Or truly evil?

5. How would you describe Stella’s motivation in trying to terrorize Olivia and to hurt Jillian? What do you think she was after? What might have been a healthy way she could have approached the problem?

6. Early in the book Jillian fears she might be pregnant and recalls an earlier pregnancy which her mother “took care of” for her by arranging an abortion. Jillian’s mother, though, chose to continue her pregnancy with Jillian when she was unmarried and had already broken up with Jillian’s father. Why do you think Jaclyn chose to keep her baby? Why did she make a different decision for Jillian? How does Jillian’s abortion impact the way she feels now?

7. Jillian’s mother believes a woman is only valuable to the extent she is desired by a man. She advises Jillian to do whatever it takes to hold on to Vince, even at the cost of a close friendship. Have you ever met (or have you ever been) a woman like this? What kinds of things might be at the root of such a belief? In what ways—for good or ill—has this helped to shape Jillian into the person she is when we first meet her?



The Undoing of Saint Silvanus
Beth Moore

8. Jillian is like many women whose mothers have taught them (or simply modelled for them) an inaccurate and unhealthy view of themselves. In what ways have you seen this happen in your circle of family or friends? Where have you seen mothers trying to break this cycle? What are some things you can do in your own relationships with children, siblings, or friends to break the cycle?

9. David says he doesn’t feel like Jesus could love the kind of person he is. Have you ever felt this way? What kinds of things might make us feel Jesus can’t love the kind of person we are? What examples can you think of from Scripture to counter this belief?

10. Did you like the way the historical sections interrupt and inform the present-day action? How do you think Reverend Brashear’s experiences and choices affect the residents of Saint Sans?

11. What do you think the title, The Undoing of Saint Silvanus, refers to? At what point and in what way is the church “undone”? (Hint: There may be more than one answer.)

12. The present-day characters know very little about the church’s history. Did that surprise you? Would you like to have seen more interweaving of the two storylines, or did you like the way this mimics real life, in which we often don’t see or understand connections between things?

The extended Book Club Discussion Guide is available at