The Dry
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  1. The novel has a strong sense of place, despite being set in a fictional town. What elements does Harper include to accomplish this? How do the bush, the rock tree, the river, etc. affect the story?
  2. Harper has said she is interested in communities where people have known each other—for better or for worse—their entire lives. How does this affect personal relationships? What are the positives and negatives of a small community?
  3. Falk describes his group of friends as "teenage tight, where you believe your friends are soul mate and the bonds will last forever." (p. 13) And yet he later wonders why he and Luke were still friends (p. 185). Did the early bonds last? Were the bonds broken because of their personalities, because they grew apart, or because of the lies they told?
  4. How does the drought affect the town? The Hadlers? The reader?
  5. How did his father’s doubts affect Falk? How do loved one’s doubts affect the people they are close to? Do we see this in other relationships in The Dry?
  6. Luke was larger than life. What made people think he was capable of murder?
  7. The Dry is a book rife with secrets. What secrets do Luke, Jamie, Ellie, and Gretchen tell? How do those secrets affect their relationships? What do they tell us about the nature of truth?
  8. Are some secrets better off kept? What might have changed in The Dry if certain secrets had remained secret? 
  9. Do you see archetypal heroes and villains in the characters of The Dry? Are there "good" characters and "bad" characters? What were these characters’ motivations? 
  10. Jane Harper has worked as a journalist for 13 years. How did her personal background affect her telling of the story? Does her writing style make the details more or less believable?

* Some questions from Modern Mrs. Darcy