1. When Crystal arrives from Georgia, she is still grieving from the death of her parents and is questioning her relationship with Drew. She has left behind everything she has ever known, and is starting over in a new and very unfamiliar place. Have you ever faced a similar adventure? What did it feel like, and how did you face it? How did Crystal’s faith in God affect her choices and decisions?
2. Aunt Kate welcomes Crystal with open arms, as do some of the older neighbors like Rusty and Sarah. Luke and some of the younger women are suspicious of her at first. Why do you think that is? How did Crystal begin to win them over? Have you every felt alone in an unfriendly environment? What did you do?
3. Sins of pride, jealousy, and judgment run throughout this story. How does Crystal’s pride affect her relationships, especially with Luke? Why do Crystal and Luke have difficulty speaking honestly to one another and examining their pre-judgments of each other? How does the question of who makes the pies— Carmen or Crystal—play into their misunderstanding of one another and speak to their pride?
4. The beautiful, open, mountainous, and dry land of Colorado, with all of its beautiful flora and fauna, plays an important role in the story. How do the land and climate differences between Georgia and Colorado affect Crystal? Why does the beauty of her surroundings come to be so important to her?
5. What do you think drives Crystal to assume leadership of the ranch after Aunt Kate dies? How does she overcome her uncertainty and fear to save the ranch and participate in the cattle drive? She learns many things very quickly from both Rusty and Carmen. Where does she find the desire and the strength to seek their guidance and to “grow where she is planted”?