Discussion Questions for Garden of Madness
Please be aware, the following questions contain plot spoilers.
- What were your first thoughts about Tiamat? What three words come to mind when you think of her character early in the story? How do you relate to her desire to make a difference and change her world?
- Who did you first think murdered Kaldu? Why? Did you think Shealtiel’s death was also a murder?
- The tension between Tia and her mother was apparent from the start. What was your reaction to that relationship? Have you experienced similar tension with a parent? Were you able to resolve the problem?
- What was your first impression of Pedaiah? How do people in the story react to his determination to remain unpolluted? What causes his heart to change, leading him to love all people as Yahweh does? In what ways do you struggle with the concept found in Romans 2, “living in the world but not being of the world”?
- When Tia met Pedaiah in the city, why did he take her on a detour instead of directly to Daniel’s house? Did you share his frustration with her at the end of the excursion?
- What did you think happened to Tia when she awoke in the Gardens covered in blood with no memory of how she got there? Did you think she had gone mad, like her father?
- At what point do you first see a change in Tia’s thinking? What did you feel when Daniel and Pedaiah visited her and prayed over her after her lost night?
- Secrecy is a major theme throughout this story. Has someone kept a secret from you that changed your life when it was revealed? Do you think secrets are ever worthwhile?
- Garden of Madness surrounds the madness of the great king Nebuchadnezzar, whom God punished for his pride and arrogance (Daniel 4). Nebuchadnezzar learned the hard way that God is sovereign. Do you struggle with pride or being obedient to a sovereign God? Has sin ever cost you something as it did Nebuchadnezzar?
- Discuss Nebuchadnezzar’s journey to humility and the sins that brought the Israelites to captivity in Babylon. What can you learn from their mistakes?
- This story takes place in the Old Testament. In what ways do the characters allude to the New Covenant? How do you now think of the Jews in the centuries before Christ? Do you think they considered that non-Jews would one day be accepted by God?
- Tia and Pedaiah face many obstacles to their relationship throughout the book from his apparent disdain of her to their ethnic, social, and religious differences. How do you see these issues reconciled? Do you believe two people can build a good relationship amid such differences? How?
- The author portrays Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel as close friends. Do you think that could have been the case? Do you have a friend like Daniel who tells you truth, even when you don’t want to hear it?
- In what ways has this book edified you in your own journey of faith?