- Why does Nancy seem willing to endure the unpleasantness and frustrations posed by the various trainers and people who manage the barns where Eli lives?
- As Nancy and Eli change barns and riding instructors, what understanding does she gain with each move? Do you think she is running away from difficult truths, or moving on to what is best for herself or for Eli?
- The memoir contains historical, medical and technical information about horse ownership and the management of equine health. What surprised you about the delicate challenges associated with the life and health of a horse? Did you have preconceived notions about horses that were dispelled by the book? What were they?
- What does Nancy come to understand about herself and her horse as she struggles to master the art of dressage? How does this human and horse love affair with all its ups and downs reveal the strengths and weaknesses of both Nancy and Eli? What are those strengths and weaknesses?
- Is there a sport or activity you wish you’d been able to participate in as a child? Did you pursue it as an adult? Why or why not?
- What experiences in Nancy’s background (family and childhood, education, career, fertility issues, marriage) prepare her, or fail to adequately prepare her, for the challenges that she faces with Eli?
- How does Eli shape the way Nancy relates to others?
- Which methods of communication work best between Eli and Nancy? Which fail? What important skills does Nancy discover are necessary in order to effectively “parent” Eli?
- What does Eli ultimately teach Nancy about herself? How is she transformed? And how is Eli transformed by his relationship with Nancy?
- As Nancy observes the relationships of others in her neighborhood or at the barns she frequents, she is often full of longing or envy. How do those feelings change when she acquires Eli?
- Think of a time when you felt left out as opposed to being part of a group. How did you cope?
- If you have children, think of people you know who have struggled with infertility, or even just didn’t have children. What did you think about them? How did you respond to them? How did they respond to you? How has reading “Falling for Eli” helped you understand that better?
Click here to download the Reader’s guide to Falling For Eli as a PDF.