Discussion Questions for:

Beauty Within

by Rachel Skatvold



Chapter 1 & 2


  1. What reasons motivate Katherine to move back to her hometown? Do you think they will be enough to make her stay?
  2. Katherine’s Uncle stepped up to help her during a time of crisis. Describe a person in your life that helped you during a difficult time. What qualities made this person an encouragement?
  3. Lillian’s funny nickname for Officer Hudson brings some comedic relief to a very serious scene in the story. What are your thoughts on this scene? Why does her innocent mistake soften his heart?
  4. Describe some observations that Katherine and Ryan make about each other when they first meet. What events influence them to think this way? Can first impressions be deceiving?


Chapter 3 &4


  1. What special meaning does Zechariah 4:10 hold for Katherine? Do you believe God can take a small beginning and turn it into a big blessing? Can you think of examples from your own life or someone you know?
  2. After talking with Sarah, Katherine regrets judging Ryan prematurely. Is it right to judge others and how can we resist the urge to do so? For further reading, check out Mathew 7:1-5
  3. Why is Drew’s request after the accident so troubling for Ryan?
  4. What is Ryan’s big secret and why is he trying to keep it hidden? Do you have any predictions on how his past will affect the story later?


Chapter 5 &6


  1. After visiting the salon, how does Ryan’s opinion of Katherine change?
  2. What is the significance of the name Beauty Within? What is your definition of true beauty? For further reading and discussion, check out 1 Peter 3:3-4
  3. Why do Kristy and Katherine get into an argument at church? Is there a time when offering advice can go too far?
  4. After their walk to the park, Katherine tells Ryan more about her past. What factors led up to her leaving Brimsfield? Does she regret her decision and why?


Chapter 7 &8


  1. Even though Shawn started the confrontation at the park, should Ryan have provoked him? How could he have handled the situation better?
  2. Why does Katherine feel guilty after walking to the park with Ryan? Do you think her late husband, James would disapprove of Ryan and if so, why?
  3. Katherine let Sarah move in, hoping to be a good influence. What are some ways to help someone who is engaging in self destructive behavior?
  4. Who does Ryan think he see’s in the crowd at the fair? Discuss the different reactions from Katherine and Shawn after Ryan’s troubling episode.


Chapter 9


  1. Did Kristy overstep the boundaries by encouraging Shawn to pursue a relationship with Katherine? Describe some ways that parents can encourage their adult children without being overbearing.
  2. Did Katherine unintentionally lead Shawn on by agreeing to a lunch date? What might have been a better option?
  3. Have you ever felt the urge to pray for someone and not know why? Discuss your predictions for why Katherine feels such a need to pray for Ryan’s safety.


Chapter 10 & 11


  1. Who was Ryan talking to at the hospital? Discuss your thoughts on this unexpected twist in the story.
  2. Discuss Erin’s character in the story. Does she seem like a good sister?
  3. During his childhood, Ryan endured physical and emotional abuse from his father. How does this shape his view of life, God and family?
  4. What does Drew’s sacrifice symbolize in the story? Describe how it influences Ryan to put his trust in God.


Chapter 12 &13

  1. How do Katherine and Clint encourage Ryan after his decision to follow Jesus? Discuss some ways that we can encourage new believers and those who haven’t made that decision yet.
  2. How does Ryan’s attitude change toward Shawn after being saved? Have you ever struggled to love an enemy? For further reading and discussion, check out Mathew 5:43-44
  3. Katherine and her mother have a strained relationship. What events caused these feelings of resentment? How does God provide healing?
  4. After his salvation experience, Ryan joins a church support group and starts having Bible studies with Clint and the pastor. How does this help him and why is it so important to meet with other Christians?
  5. Why did Kristy have reservations about Katherine spending time with Ryan? What changed her mind about him?

Chapter 14

  1. What does Ryan realize after spending Independence Day with Katherine and her family? What changes his mind about his family and career choices?
  2. After the fireworks, Ryan reveals his struggle with wanting revenge. What does Katherine say that helps him? Do you agree with her advice? For further reading and discussion, check out Romans 12:19.
  3. Discuss the events after Katherine and Ryan’s first kiss. Do you think Katherine would have admitted her love for Ryan if Shawn hadn’t intervened?


Chapter 15 &16


  1. Why did Ryan have to leave town? Should he have tried harder to contact Katherine?
  2. Shawn deceived Katherine by hiding Ryan’s note and making her think he was behind the roses. Describe the repercussions that his lie caused. Is telling a lie ever the right decision, even if it gets us what we want?
  3. After finding out about Drew’s will, Ryan and Erin are faced with an impossible decision. How do you seek wisdom when no decision seems to be the correct one? For further reading and discussion, check out James 1:5.
  4. Ryan’s faith is tested when he discovers the identity of the criminal who shot his brother. What do you predict will happen next? Will Ryan do what is right or give in to his old nature?

Chapter 17 &18

  1. After the memorial service, Katherine talks to her in-laws for the first time since James death. What does the old pocket watch symbolize in their relationship and how do they find healing from their shared tragedy?
  2. Did Shawn make the right decision to leave town? Do you think Katherine would have agreed to marry him if he hadn’t let her off the hook?
  3. What convinced Ryan to give up his quest for revenge? Describe a time that you had to forgive someone even when it was difficult.

Chapter 19 – 21

  1. Describe how Katherine and her family react to the news of Ryan’s accident.
  2. How has Sarah’s character changed since the beginning of the story?
  3. Ryan’s close call and his brother’s awakening teach him that life is precious. What can Ryan’s second chance at life teach us about appreciating God’s blessings?
  4. What causes the misunderstanding between Katherine and Ryan? Why does she choose to let him go and did she make the right decision?

Chapter 22 & 23

  1. What bothers Ryan so much about living in the city again? Although he feels obligated to stay and take care of his brother, how does Drew convince him to return to Brimsfield?
  2. Of all the characters in the story, Ryan transformed the most. Compare his past and present life. How have his priorities changed since giving his life to Jesus and falling in love with Katherine?
  3. What warms your heart the most about Katherine and Ryan’s love story? Are they characters you’d like to read more about in the future? What would you like to see happen in a sequel?
  4. Is this story more than just a romance? What faith based theme impacted you the most throughout the story and why?

*Need some inspiration for your book club?

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