All God's Creatures Readers' Guide

1. Maggie McLain defied convention in 1960's society to become a veterinarian. That choice may sound simple to readers too young to recall the gender issues of that era, but women like Maggie, who broke from traditional roles, fought an ugly, uphill battle for acceptance. Discuss your own experiences or those of female friends/relatives who "rebelled" against convention.

2. Maggie combines career/marriage/family with general success, but there is a definite downside as far as her relationship with her children is concerned. Do you feel this is a fair portrayal of the issues, or do you think many women who choose to have both a career and a family are able to handle the mix far better than society likes to admit?

3. Maggie is a large-animal vet, which means her work often requires physical strength and dexterity far above the capabilities of most women. How do you feel about women handling professions that were once considered too physically demanding for females?

4. Maggie and her professional partner, Eli, have a sisterly relationship. Do you think women are better than men at combining business and friendship?

5. Some of the most beloved novels in modern fiction focus on our love for the majesty and nobility of horses. Horses seem to hold a special allure for females readers, and many of the most adored novels center around female characters and the horses they love. From National Velvet to The Horse Whisperer, what is it about horses and horseback riding that appeals so much to female readers?

6. Maggie struggles with depression and a sense of growing old. Her decision to retire proves to be a mistake. How do you feel about retirement issues?