Study Questions for Gem Babies Odyssey

1. 
Did you find Mariel’s experience of loss believable?  (First, her grandfather, then Sebastian.  Later it is learned that she also lost her father and brother in the military.)
2.  Is there an experience of loss in your own life which you found resurfacing as you read the story?
3.  Was there a point in the conversation between Mariel and Fr. Leopold which gave you a deeper understanding or greater hope?
4.  Consider Mariel’s struggle to reconcile the painful events of her life, without a clear belief in a personal God.  What conclusions is such a person left with?
5.  The gem babies in the first volume are not defined as real or imagined.  Mariel refers to those experiences with the same tentativeness:  “a dream or a portal of some kind.”  Which way do you lean?
6.  Which particular “encounter” with the gem babies resonated most with you?  Why?
7.  Do you think that love can communicate in ways that are beyond science’s ability to prove?  (Do you think that Sebastian might have been communicating in some way with Mariel through the “dreams” she had of him?)
8.  The colors and feelings associated with the realm of gem babies is similar to that described by persons who report near death experiences.  Do you think that these depictions reflect some of the beauty that actually exists beyond this life?
9.  The conversations between Rosie and Mariel portray two different but strong women.  Who are the strong women you look to as role models in your own life?
10. Sebastian advocated through journalism, and Mariel through her art. How could you play a role in advocacy for victims of “invisible crimes?”  What anti -trafficking or pro-life groups could you support?
11. How do you see the relationship between Steve and Mariel playing out in the sequel?
12. How has the story helped you to weather the storms or events you might be facing in your own life?
13. The beautiful lady with the rose held a very specific message.  Is there anyone you could reach out to with this message?
14. It has been said that there is no real closure to the pain of loss. Instead, people just live with it.  Has the story helped you to understand the pain of grief and loss?  Is there someone who is experiencing these pains whom you could reach out to or pray for?
15. What signs of hope do you look forward to seeing developed in the sequel?
16.  How do you visualize heaven?  

​“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places." (Jn. 14:1-2)