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The Dry


Winner of the 2017 BookBrowse Debut Novel Award
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Discuss The Dry by Jane Harper:
The fictional town of Kiewarra is the central setting of the novel. Did the town itself shape your view of or opinion about the people who live there and the events that take place there?

Created: 12/27/17

Replies: 11

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

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The fictional town of Kiewarra is the central setting of the novel. Did the town itself shape your view of or opinion about the people who live there and the events that take place there?

The fictional town of Kiewarra is the central setting of the novel. Did the town itself shape your view of or opinion about the people who live there and the events that take place there?


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

Join Date: 12/01/16

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RE: The fictional town of Kiewarra is the central setting of the novel. Did the town itself shape your view of or opinion about the people who live there and the events that take place there?

Since moving from a larger city to a very small rural town, I already had a good idea how the town and people of Kiewarra would be presented. Except for the murder part, it was pretty typical of small towns anywhere.


Posted Jan. 03, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Rebecca L.

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 42

RE: The fictional town of Kiewarra is the central setting of the novel. Did the town itself shape your view of or opinion about the people who live there and the events that take place there?

I grew up in a small town and, while I found the extent of it to be frustrating, I could identify with the way that the majority of the townsfolk acted with the same mentality and the way that news spread. And even though I hated it, the idea of something being guilty until proven innocent was definitely something that I can say personally is true of small towns.


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

Join Date: 02/06/17

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RE: The fictional town of Kiewarra is the central setting of the novel. Did the town itself shape your view of or opinion about the people who live there and the events that take place there?

I think the town itself was so isolated and experienced so many hardships over time, that focusing their energy on one culprit made the residents feel more in control of their lives. That doesn't excuse their behavior, of course. I was dumbfounded by how so many people could support Del, given his behavior and attitude. I am sure that they were afraid of becoming the focus of his negative efforts, but surely there is strength in numbers. The town could have refused to participate in his vendetta against the Falk's and supported one another.

I do not think this type of behavior is limited to small towns. Cliques happen in all social circles and areas, big or small. Certainly there is more opportunity in larger areas to find new friends and sources of support if one is run out of a group based on rumor or innuendo.


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

Join Date: 10/15/14

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RE: The fictional town of Kiewarra is the central setting of the novel. Did the town itself shape your view of or opinion about the people who live there and the events that take place there?

Kiewarra is about five hours from a large city, it is a farm community suffering from a severe drought, and in years past there was an unsolved murder or death and now the community faces another tragedy, the deaths of Luke, Karen and Billy Hadler. As acstrine writes above, it seems that the town could have stood together and fought against not only Del, but all the negativity that seems to have overpowered it. But this is not the case - the people who live here seem to be small minded and fearful - there are many hidden secrets here among these residents. I agree again with the previous writer that this type of behavior is not limited to small towns, however, this particular small town just seems to fit the description needed to enable the events that occurred to take place.


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

Join Date: 06/13/11

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RE: The fictional town of Kiewarra is the central setting of the novel. Did the town itself shape your view of or opinion about the people who live there and the events that take place there?

It was the small town but doubled by the description of the dryness that was affecting the residents.


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

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 247

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RE: The fictional town of Kiewarra is the central setting of the novel. Did the town itself shape your view of or opinion about the people who live there and the events that take place there?

Not necessarily. When almost everyone in a small town, neighborhood, or community know one another, I think the reaction to any well-known incident is always the same.


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: The fictional town of Kiewarra is the central setting of the novel. Did the town itself shape your view of or opinion about the people who live there and the events that take place there?

Not really. I live in a very small town, and everyone knows everyone else's business. And, if they don't know it, they make it up. I think it helped me understand the people better.


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

Join Date: 03/22/12

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RE: The fictional town of Kiewarra is the central setting of the novel. Did the town itself shape your view of or opinion about the people who live there and the events that take place there?

Having lived in a small town in the past, I did witness how people responded to any event out of the ordinary. Kiewarra, although a fictional town, rang very true.


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

Join Date: 02/03/14

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RE: The fictional town of Kiewarra is the central setting of the novel. Did the town itself shape your view of or opinion about the people who live there and the events that take place there?

I think the author did a great job of showing how a small town can be too small - everyone knows too much about their neighbors, few places to 'get away from it all" - to be invisible. Bullies can dominate and control others easily, your police, your teachers, you banker, everyone is your neighbor and that effects how things are handled - hard to do your job without losing friends or being shunned socially.

The people who stay do so for different reasons, Seem because they are determined, some because they don't have anywhere else to go, some because they think things will change, but they are living with a sense of helplessness, hopelessness and despair.

I think when it was prosperous it was probably a nicer place to be, but when the town relies on one industry and that industry is failing despair, anger and tragedy take over and things get ugly fast. Here we see the ugly people take power as the town dies and they see a chance to profit.


Posted Jan. 14, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sylviaann

Join Date: 01/14/18

Posts: 20

RE: The fictional town of Kiewarra is the central setting of the novel. Did the town itself shape your view of or opinion about the people who live there and the events that take place there?

Yes, it did. The drought in Kiewarra, and the tensions surrounding it, symbolize how we can turn on each other another in times of stress or danger. The rural farming community of Kiewarra is in a drought that started two years prior to the start of the novel. This fact created high stress for the community, since its main industry is farming and the farms can't produce crops in a drought. When Falk returns to Kiewarra, he finds that tensions are high in the town due to the drought, and these tensions created an air of hostility. In my opinion, local residents acted very contemptuously towards Falk and bring up old traumas in an attempt to direct their drought-related fear, stress, and frustration in a different direction.


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

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 185

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RE: The fictional town of Kiewarra is the central setting of the novel. Did the town itself shape your view of or opinion about the people who live there and the events that take place there?

Having once lived in a small ton, I related to the way the events affected the entire town. This was true not only of the current crime, but of the events of twenty years prior. While it may seem like there are no secret in small towns, there were secrets in Kiewarra that had tragic consequences. No one was immune to the effects of what happened to Ellie and what happened to the Hadlers 20 years later. The drought made people's feelings sharper and the heat made everyone volatile, contributing to the denouement of the Hadler murders.


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