1. Homesickness is one of the themes in Two Crosses. Have you ever been in a situation where you were far from home and tempted to make unwise decisions because you did not have trusted family and friends around with whom you could talk?
2. Symbols are very important in Two Crosses. Discuss how the symbol of the Huguenot cross is used throughout the novel on different levels. What other symbols are used in the story?
3. Think about the different main characters in the novel and discuss how each one is drawn to the Huguenot cross:
- Mother Griolet
4. Early in the novel, Gabriella says to David, “I cannot prove that prayers are answered or that God is above is you do not want to believe it. But that isn’t my business… I dare you to ask Him to prove Himself to you.” (p. 47) Have you ever prayed this way for yourself or for a friend? What was the result?
5. In chapter ten (p. 105), Mother Griolet says, “It was just another thread in the tapestry of God’s work… Another instance of God weaving our lives in and out to bring about his good will.” What do you think about this philosophy? How does the tapestry theme play out in the novel?
6. On p. 101 and p 152-153, David expresses anger and frustration over the plight of the piednoirs, the harkis, and other minorities. What are your feelings about minorities? Do you agree with David? Have you ever been in a situation where you were part of a minority? How did you feel?
7. Look at the first scene in chapter 12 (p. 120-123). Have you ever tried to rationalize a decision you knew was wrong. Or asked a trusted friend to agree with something your conscious told you was wrong? If so, what was the outcome?
8. Ali Boudani is a man obsessed with a desire for revenge. David also seeks revenge. What effect does this obsession have on the rest of their lives and the lives of others? Have you ever been consumed with revenge? If so, what was the outcome?
9. In chapter eighteen (p. 210-212), Gabriella and Mother Griolet have a discussion about forgiveness. Mother Griolet says, “Forgiveness is not just for the offender. You’re a victim, and until you forgive, you will always be a victim, locked in your hurt and bitterness. Forgiveness frees.” Do you agree with Mother Griolet? Why or why not? Can you give an example from your life?
10. In this same scene (p. 211-212), Gabriella reflects on Mother Griolet’s claim that God can bring triumph out of tragedy. What is your opinion about this claim–do you agree and have you seen this become true in your life?
11. Discuss the use of art and literature in the novel. At one point David says, “Funny how sometimes it is through pictures and poems that we express what we can’t say.” Do you agree? Have you ever experience this?
12. Two of my favorite scenes to write were in chapter eighteen, when Ophélie learns how to read and in chapter thirty as Gabriella is taking her exam. Do you have one or two favorite scenes from this novel? Which are they and why?
13. What do you think of Mother Giolet’s response to Gabriella’s praise of the nun: “Ooo là, Gabriella. Watch out now! You may see me as a role model if you wish, but don’t put your hope and glory in simple humans. I’m sure to disappoint you. Glory is a dangerous thing, linked with that enemy, pride. No, sweet child, give the glory to God. He’s the only one who deserves it.” (p. 280) Why do we tend to put others on a pedestal? Is that wrong?
14. Look at Mother Griolet’s question to Gabriella (p. 385): “Do you think God is more interested in our circumstances or in what we learn from them?” and the following paragraphs and discuss whether you agree or disagree with Mother Griolet’s reasoning.
15. Read David’s conversion scene (p. 359-362) and discuss forgiveness and repentance.
16. At the end of the novel, David recalls something that Gabriella’s mother told her and she in turn shared with David. “Our God does not make mistakes.” (p. 433) Do you agree or disagree? Why?