For Dr. Elena Burroughs, life is divided into two chapters—before and after the death of her husband. Today marks the point that her span of being a wife is equal to her span of being a widow. Even her success as a psychologist and her worldwide acclaim for a book on the interpretation of dreams is dimmed by an unspoken If only. Then a new patient arrives, one so private only her first name is given. Impeccably dressed and escorted by two bodyguards, Sandra recounts a frightening series of recurrent nightmares. Elena agrees to consider her case more carefully, convinced that something ominous may be at work here. Elena’s interpretation of her dreams confirms that, indeed, the new patient and her family confront a powerful global network of dangerous forces. As the story unfolds, they face a key question of the Christian life: How do you understand and fulfill the will of God?
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This reading group guide forBook of Dreams includes discussion questions. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
Elena’s experiences suggest that following God’s lead takes her in a very different direction from what she had expected. Do you see God’s lead as offering an easier road?
Do you hold certain assumptions about receiving a spiritual gift? Are these images based on a desire to do God’s will, or your own desire to receive acclaim and ease?
Elena realizes that she may have had a hand in holding herself back from true healing. She comes to see that her present perspective, how she defines herself, is based in part on her sorrow. To give this up and accept full healing means losing a connection to her deceased husband. And yet, until she relinquishes this hold, she cannot accept a vision of what future God might have in store. Can you find a parallel in your own life, where holding on to some less than positive or healing perspective might be keeping you from what you say you want, or what God wants for you?
In this story, several characters experience what at the time appear to be monumental setbacks. And yet these same events prove to be great leaps forward, both for them personally and for their causes. Can you recall a time when what first seemed to be a defeat actually became a lifetime triumph? Can you look back now and see God’s hand at work in these experiences?
In her encounter group, Elena urges the participants to write down the request they are asking of God. One member of the group confesses later that this proved vital. Otherwise he would have risked forgetting the problem and its solution, by simply moving on to the next unresolved issue. Have you ever asked God for aid, then neglected to recognize his hand at work in your life? Have you failed to thank him for a gift like this? Why do you think this happened? Do you find it hard to acknowledge God’s power at work in your life?
The basis for Elena’s gift is a series of meditations on the Lord’s Prayer. Have you ever spent time examining this prayer? If not, do you feel this might be an enriching experience, one you should take on? If so, have you experienced any particular gift of the Spirit that you would like to share?
Davis Bunn is the author of numerous national bestsellers in genres spanning historical sagas, contemporary thrillers, and inspirational gift books. He has received widespread critical acclaim, including three Christy Awards for excellence in fiction, and his books have sold more than six million copies in sixteen languages. He and his wife, Isabella, are affiliated with Oxford University, where Davis serves as writer in residence at Regent’s Park College. He lectures internationally on the craft of writing.
"Book of Dreams is a fascinating read. A totally new concept, which makes it a rare achievement. The story really makes you think. The theme is both very challenging and mesmerizing. A first-rate effort." —Hy Smith, executive vice president (ret.), United International Pictures
– Hy Smith, executive vice president (ret.), United International Pictures
"Book of Dreams is an exceptional story. The concept itself is remarkably fresh, with a genuinely unique design. There are very few inspirational-style concepts that have the potential to cross over and become major mainstream hits. In my opinion, Book of Dreams is at the top of this list. Exciting, relevant, and accessible. A remarkable story, one that will linger long after the book is put down." —Norman Stone, producer / director, Shadowlands
– Norman Stone, producer / director, Shadowlands
"Inventive and incisive, Bunn's fiction never disappoints. And he’s scored again with Book of Dreams. Don’t miss this one." —Jerry B. Jenkins, New York Times bestselling author, the Left Behind series
– Jerry B. Jenkins, New York Times bestselling author, the Left Behind series
"The Book of Dreams is wonderful. Davis Bunn has created a literary delight that underscores the power of God’s word. A page-turner with an inspiring supernatural element. I could not put this down." —Anne Graham Lotz, bestselling author, Just Give Me Jesus
– Anne Graham Lotz, bestselling author, Just Give Me Jesus