1. We don’t meet April’s parents in this book, but we learn a bit about them from April’s perspective. How would you describe April’s father? How has April’s relationship with him shaped who she is at the beginning of the story? How does her opinion of her father change later in the book?
2. Wes and April meet early in the story under unusual circumstances. Describe their encounter. Do we get a glimpse in this scene of what their future relationship may be like? If so, in what way?
3. April, the girl who has it all, walks around town for a couple days smelling like a skunk. Why is Wes the only person who finally tells her that her clothes still smell? He goes to a lot of trouble to do this, even providing her with a new dress. What does this say about Wes?
4. What do you think was the most significant factor in April’s change of heart and her decision to begin praying and reading her Bible again? Why did her change happen in this time and place rather than at home in Colorado?
5. The theme of needing boundaries runs throughout the book. April, Jane, and April’s horse Sassy are all described at different times as spoiled or manipulative. How do these descriptions apply to our relationship with God? Do we need boundaries and discipline to be truly free? Why does always having our own way or getting everything we want actually diminish our freedom?
6. The stagecoach robbery is a dramatic moment in the story. How is it a turning point for April? What does she learn about herself or the person she wants to be?
7. April was raised with all of the finer things in life, which at the beginning of the book is very important to her. How does her view of material things change? What causes the change? What does she find far more important that money can’t buy?
8. As April begins to care for the people she meets in Lewistown, she begins to see and value herself differently. After the stagecoach robbery, April asks Miss Margaret why Miss Margaret treats her so well when she doesn’t deserve it. Why do you think April feels unworthy? What does this tell us about her?
9. The first thing that April does to make a change in her behavior and in her heart is to watch what she says. Why is this the first step for her? What is so important about choosing not to say the first thing that comes into her head?
10. What does Billy teach April early in the story? Why does he bring out her compassion and kindness when no one else can?