From the very first chapter, the importance of the setting is vital to this story, as Cassie grows up knowing that she is different from others, because she, unlike them, actually owns the land that she lives on, and this is something that is of immense value. Note what her father says to her when she asks him why he has to go away to earn money so that they can stay on their land rather than simply sell it:
Look out there, Cassie girl. All that belongs to you. You ain't never had to live on nobody's place but your own and long as I live and the family survives, you'll never have to. That's important. You may not understand that now, but one day you will. Then you'll see.
This explains why all of the Logans are willing to fight so hard and work so hard to do everything they can to keep their land rather than sell it. The strong sense of place is thus important because it defines the Logan family and gives them their freedom and independence which is of such value to them and allows them to have the confidence and the courage to stand up and fight for what is right. This is something that is drummed into Cassie and her siblings from a very early age.