When one wins her hand,
will the other win her heart?
With two very different horizons stretched out before her, one young woman stands on the cusp of an unknown future.
Sheltered since birth at her Kentucky home, Rowena Ballantyne has heard only whispered rumors of her grandfather Silas’s vast fortune and grand manor in Pennsylvania. Then her father, Silas’s long-estranged son, Ansel, receives a rare letter summoning him to New Hope. Rowena makes the journey with him and quickly finds herself in a whole new world— filled with family members she’s never met, dances she’s never learned, and a new side to the father she thought she knew. As she struggles to fit in during their extended stay, she finds a friend in James Sackett, the most valued steamship pilot of the Ballantyne’s shipping line. Even with his help, Rowena feels she may never be comfortable in high society. Will she go her own way . . . to her own peril?
With her signature attention to historical detail and emotional depth, Laura Frantz brings 1850s Pennsylvania alive with a tender story of loss, love, and loyalty in this final installment of the Ballatyne saga.
Reading Group Guide for
by Laura Frantz
1, As chapter 2 opens, the epigraph reads, “Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change” (Mary Shelley). Change can be difficult, yet it can also be a catalyst for growth. Think of a challenging time in your own life when change was at work. What was the outcome? Did you enter into change like Wren, resistant and somewhat fearful? Or did you embrace it openheartedly? In hindsight, what good did change bring?
2. The Underground Railroad was a very active and dangerous enterprise, especially in the years leading up to the Civil War. Those who helped slaves to freedom risked their lives, their families, and their future. Would you have risked everything to help this cause as an abolitionist? At what point would the danger be too much?
3. Ansel Ballantyne chose to deal with danger by hiding his family in rural Kentucky. Do you think he was right or wrong in doing so? How did this help or hurt Wren? When we are faced with dangerous or life-altering situations, what should our response be? What does the Lord require of us?
4. Of all the characters in Love’s Fortune, which did you like most? Least? Why?
5. Wren does not always skillfully handle the situations in which she finds herself. How would you have reacted if you were in her place? Would you have enjoyed the balls, the musicales, the protocol and etiquette? Or would you, like Wren, have wanted to flee to Kentucky?
6. There are two heroes in this novel. What strengths and flaws does James Sackett have? Malachi Cameron? Are you happy with Wren’s choice? Why or why not?
7. Wren and Izannah are the novel’s two heroines. Which heroine would you rather be? Why?
8. One of the problems with the rigid, rule-bound society of the mid-nineteenth century was the suppression of feeling. High society wore a mask. This proves especially problematic for free-spirited Wren. Do you think Andra is right in insisting Wren finish her season? Do you think James handles his role as escort wisely and well? Why or why not?
9. What sort of legacy do Silas and Eden Ballantyne leave? What do you think happened with future generations of Ballantynes, Turlocks, and Camerons?
10. The Ballantyne Legacy series is about the power of choice and the legacy we leave through the choices we make. Did the series help you see the power of godly and ungodly legacies? Think of your own choices. What sort of a legacy are you leaving? What sort of legacy should we aspire to leave?