The Maggie Bright
Tracy Groot

1. How much did you know about the “Miracle of Dunkirk” before reading this book? Did the book pique your interest to learn more about this historic event or other aspects of World War II?

2. When Murray finds Father Fitz in jail, he is quite angry with him for leaving his wife and newborn child. “If you won’t take care of them, savin’ the world don’t matter. It’s lost already if a man can’t take care of his own.” Do you agree with Murray’s statement, that taking care of our own families is our most important priority? Does knowing what Father Fitz’s mission was—trying to stop Hitler’s atrocities—affect your answer? If so, how do we determine which causes are important enough to risk neglecting or endangering our loved ones?

3. Calling the nation to a day of prayer—even in the officially Christian nation of Britain—strikes some of the characters as unusual. Do you think political leaders have the right or obligation to ask their citizens to pray? Has this changed in the last century?

4. William Percy asks Mrs. Shrewsbury how prayer works, and her answer is, “I’m not sure how it works. I can say what I believe it does. I believe prayer kicks things out of the way. I believe it does so to make room for a better outcome. I believe prayer illuminates our paths so we can see more clearly, choose our way more wisely.” What do you think of her answer? How would you answer William’s question?

5. William isn’t sure he believes in God, but he believes in Mrs. Shrewsbury and the power of her prayers. When have other people held you up in prayer, even if you weren’t sure you believed in praying for yourself? How has that impacted your life?

6. Clare receives the unexpected news that the man who bequeathed Maggie Bright to her was her birth father, and that Murray is her half brother. What did you think of her reaction to this news? Have you ever learned something that changed your perception of yourself? How do you think this revelation plays into the story? How important is it?

7. Jamie Elliott is given a mission that seems impossible—getting a critically wounded man, who is essentially unable to communicate, to safety. And he is faithful to the mission, even when he is told that wounded men are to be left to fend for themselves. How would you have responded to such an assignment? Do you think Jamie’s choices and actions are realistic? What do they say about the kind of person Jamie is?

8. What did you think of Captain Jacobs, “Milton”? Did you find him amusing? Annoying? Did you feel sorry for him or for those tasked with caring for him? Have you ever had to care for someone with a physical or mental disability? What are some of the challenges and rewards of such a role?


The Maggie Bright
Tracy Groot

9. In the final rescue before Maggie Bright sinks, William loses track of time and is shocked when the others tell him he spent an hour working to save people. Have you ever been in a crisis situation where time seems to slow down? Why do you think that happens? How is it that people can find hidden reserves of strength to do what should be physically impossible?

10. The end of this book is just the beginning of the story of World War II. How do you think each of the main characters will spend the duration of the war? What will happen to Clare and William? Murray and Father Fitz? Mrs. Shrewsbury? Will Jamie ever open his pub? Will his former comrades meet there? If you were to imagine a sequel to this story, what would be its focus?