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The Dry


Winner of the 2017 BookBrowse Debut Novel Award
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Discuss The Dry by Jane Harper:
Do you think the drought’s effects on the town made people less likely to question what happened to the Hadlers? Why or why not?

Created: 12/27/17

Replies: 20

Posted Dec. 27, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1430

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Do you think the drought’s effects on the town made people less likely to question what happened to the Hadlers? Why or why not?

The drought overshadows everything that happens in "The Dry." In some ways it could almost be said to be a character in its own right. Do you think the drought’s effects on the town made people less likely to question what happened to the Hadlers? Why or why not?


Posted Jan. 01, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 129

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RE: Do you think the drought’s effects on the town made people less likely to question what happened to the Hadlers? Why or why not?

Yes. It was the best way to hide the crime because it was so understandable and they could empathize.


Posted Jan. 02, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulak

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 26

RE: Do you think the drought’s effects on the town made people less likely to question what happened to the Hadlers? Why or why not?

In a sense, I think the drought became a convenient excuse since it was the source of such despair for so many of the residents and became an easy explanation for what would motivate someone to perform such terrible acts. I believe it also represents our tendency to go for the easy answer versus the more difficult task of digging further.


Posted Jan. 04, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Rebecca L.

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 42

RE: Do you think the drought’s effects on the town made people less likely to question what happened to the Hadlers? Why or why not?

I thought this was an interesting version of the mob mentality - if you introduce an idea into the mob they will assimilate it into their group and run with it. The thought that the Hadlers were a tragic victim of a husband sacrificing his family to avoid future suffering in the drought somehow appealed to many in the town and so many people empathized with him instead of being angered by what happened. I thought that was an interesting look at the effects of the drought on the town.


Posted Jan. 05, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alissac

Join Date: 05/14/15

Posts: 41

RE: Do you think the drought’s effects on the town made people less likely to question what happened to the Hadlers? Why or why not?

Yes. I think the dire situation of a drought on a farm would certainly make other farmers understand why this man fell apart. They could understand why he was stressed, could empathize with him and his inability to help his family or alter their situation- his feelings of helplessness were most likely felt by every other farmer in that community.


Posted Jan. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 126

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RE: Do you think the drought’s effects on the town made people less likely to question what happened to the Hadlers? Why or why not?

I agree with all the writers above, but I confess, I also think that small town mentality may have something to do with it. That sounds harsh and judgmental, and I guess it is, and while I have not lived personally in a small town, I have had experience with rural communities. They are often tightly woven and gossipy and so much of their livelihood is dependent upon nature - this is their focus right now and it may be harder to look away from it than it should be in this sort of situation.


Posted Jan. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lynnw

Join Date: 09/01/11

Posts: 145

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RE: Do you think the drought’s effects on the town made people less likely to question what happened to the Hadlers? Why or why not?

The drought and the possibility of losing everything could drive a person to do things unheard of under normal circumstances. We all have limits of what we can tolerate and no one knows what those limits may be.


Posted Jan. 08, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 214

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RE: Do you think the drought’s effects on the town made people less likely to question what happened to the Hadlers? Why or why not?

The drought made it easy to find a reason for the killing. The residents preferred to blame the weather and the town's problems rather than look for a deeper meaning. This also presented an easy plot twist. But, one could almost taste the dirt.


Posted Jan. 08, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Rebecca L.

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 42

RE: Do you think the drought’s effects on the town made people less likely to question what happened to the Hadlers? Why or why not?

I think Peggy H makes a really good point about the author's descriptive skills. For me, Harper did an amazing job of really transporting the reader into this small town and into the mentality of its people. I as the reader could almost feel the walls closing in around me and could feel the desperation of the town folk dripping off the page. Especially for a debut author, I was very impressed.


Posted Jan. 08, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JulieAB

Join Date: 07/16/13

Posts: 56

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RE: Do you think the drought’s effects on the town made people less likely to question what happened to the Hadlers? Why or why not?

Most definitely. Everyone was living out a desperate situation, and could clearly come to the conclusion of Luke's own desperation. I agree with others, Harper does a wonderful job of describing the town, the people, and their situation.


Posted Jan. 08, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 307

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RE: Do you think the drought’s effects on the town made people less likely to question what happened to the Hadlers? Why or why not?

Oh absolutely. I think people need to have a reason for a terrible tragedy like the deaths of the Hadlers, and having the drought be the instigator was an easy go-to since others were feeling the resulting strain as well.


Posted Jan. 09, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 302

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RE: Do you think the drought’s effects on the town made people less likely to question what happened to the Hadlers? Why or why not?

I think a drought or anything else that threatens a persons ability to make a living tends to make people pull in and protect themselves using little of their precious energy to worry about others.


Posted Jan. 09, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 214

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RE: Do you think the drought’s effects on the town made people less likely to question what happened to the Hadlers? Why or why not?

Of course the drought played a role in the story. People could assume that Luke went off the deep end. Vern his parents thought that financial problems from the drought may have send him over the edge. That also led the town members not to look further.


Posted Jan. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Missys

Join Date: 10/24/17

Posts: 12

RE: Do you think the drought’s effects on the town made people less likely to question what happened to the Hadlers? Why or why not?

The drought is central to every character's life in the Kiewarra. In a farming community, the weather makes and breaks financial lives every year. A drought in one part of the nation most certainly means a windfall in another part. I can't imagine what a years-long drought would do to the emotional stability of a primarily farming community. History has shown time and time again that financial problems are almost always the source of suicide among farmers and ranchers.
Living on a farm and in a strong farming and ranching community, I definitely understand why the people of Kiewarra automatically accepted the theory the Luke murdered his family and killed himself. Of course, it took a mother to question the facts. Only a mom could take the facts of that situation and the environment of the time and say "he would never do this."


Posted Jan. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 37

RE: Do you think the drought’s effects on the town made people less likely to question what happened to the Hadlers? Why or why not?

Interesting that the town was so willing to blame Luke's "snap" on the drought, but they could not be forgiving of Falk. The town held onto their grudge for 20+ years based on his name being on a slip of paper. This same town nodded their heads, patted Luke's parents on the back, and understood due to the hard times they were facing. That struck me as very old- -their willingness to give a grown man a pass, but force a 16 year old boy out of town. I also find it interesting that in spite of knowing Luke (and even Falk) for their entire lives, the community was awfully quick to consider that the facts were implicitly true. No one questioned or seemed concerned things may not be what they seem.


Posted Jan. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Suzanne

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 239

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RE: Do you think the drought’s effects on the town made people less likely to question what happened to the Hadlers? Why or why not?

The post from acstrine seems so logical to me. I believe it covers the entire situation, without a doubt.


Posted Jan. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Joni

Join Date: 11/04/17

Posts: 8

RE: Do you think the drought’s effects on the town made people less likely to question what happened to the Hadlers? Why or why not?

I do think the drought made the people more likely to accept the possibility that Luke took himself and his family out of a dire situation.


Posted Jan. 11, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
andreab

Join Date: 07/29/14

Posts: 96

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RE: Do you think the drought’s effects on the town made people less likely to question what happened to the Hadlers? Why or why not?

Since the drought was so devastating, the murder-suicide theory was more likely to be believed than if there were no stressors in Luke's life. The whole town was struggling due to the drought and the pressures they were dealing with may have made suicide cross their own minds.


Posted Jan. 15, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 175

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RE: Do you think the drought’s effects on the town made people less likely to question what happened to the Hadlers? Why or why not?

Less likely to question--several characters mention that the heat and drought are bound pt make people snap; in fact one character wonders who will be the next to snap and do something violent.


Posted Jan. 17, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
charleneds

Join Date: 03/21/17

Posts: 13

RE: Do you think the drought’s effects on the town made people less likely to question what happened to the Hadlers? Why or why not?

I agree, the drought was having such an effect on people's lives that they were struggling with their own existence, fear of what the future held and couldn't look beyond their own lives. It was easier to accept the explanation so they could put it behind them and focus on survival.


Posted Jan. 23, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
scottishrose

Join Date: 07/24/11

Posts: 51

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RE: Do you think the drought’s effects on the town made people less likely to question what happened to the Hadlers? Why or why not?

I do think it made people less likely. There were swift to believe that Luke had done it because they were all struggling to get by during the drought. The drought also affects how the story ends. When Whitlam threatens to set fire to the town, Falk and Raco end up getting badly burnt to prevent it. That says a lot about Falk after the way the town had treated him, that he was still willing to do what he had to do to prevent a the loss of the entire area to fire.


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