THE TREASURE BOX
Book Club Guide
1. Vita’s response to the heartbreak in her life is to live in isolation. “Wrap yourself in enough layers, and you won’t freeze to death. But even if you’re shivering, stay away from the fire.” In what ways might this withdrawal have been a sensible approach? Do you know anyone who has withdrawn from others because of the hurt they have experienced?
2. Vita says, “It was better to let the past remain buried, where it belonged.” Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?
3. The author uses several images to portray Vita’s isolation: the hedge in front of her window, the bird hiding in the hedge, the locked gate, the walled garden in her dream, etc. How do these images relate to your life and to the lives of those you know? (What sorts of “hedges” do we let grow?)
4. Vita complains that not only do bad things happen to good people, but good things happen to bad people. Where in the Bible do we find a discussion about how the wicked prosper? Are these issues a concern to you? Which is a greater concern–that bad things happen to good people, or that good things happen to bad people?
5. Vita notes the irony of being a travel writer who never goes anywhere. What other ironies can you see in Vita’s character and behavior? What Biblical characters exhibit similar ironies?
6. Sophia and Rachel both illustrate sacrificial love for one another. When is sacrificial love a positive move and when can it be destructive?
7. Mrs. Tyner gives Rachel a wool coat and a significant amount of money. What are the spiritual implications of these gifts?
8. Rachel thinks about the dragons illustrated at the end of the ocean in old maps. What dragons do we fear? What fears keep us from the adventurous pursuit of our dreams?
9. Vita has several significant dreams. Are they her subconscious speaking to her, or are they from God? Or both? How does God use the desires of our hearts, and the unconscious needs of our psyches, to communicate with us?
10. Mary Kate and Vita discuss the idea that there are many futures, many possibilities, and that God can be in the midst of them all. How does this idea feel to you? Liberating? Frightening? Mixed?
11. Why do the stories of the Treasure Box change Vita’s life? Where does the power for transformation lie?
12. God reaches into Vita’s self-imposed isolation. She did not ask for this, but she was somehow ready. What does this tell us about the ways God works, the ways God responds to our unspoken prayers?
13. As Vita deals with her dual sets of memories, she describes it as a curtain being torn. What important curtain-tearing does this echo? How does this parallel shed light on Vita’s transformation?
14. After all the changes in her life, Vita realizes that she should not be asking “What is real?” but “What is true?” What is the difference? What is the spiritual significance of this statement?
15. Vita describes faith as “making the big leap” across a chasm; once on the other side, our perspectives are changed and we see life differently. Has this been true in your own life? If so, in what ways?
16. Does this book make you think about yourself and God in different ways? If so, how?