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Force of Nature


As atmospheric, tense, and explosive as her New York Times bestselling debut, ...
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Do you think the setting feels ominous? How is this achieved? How do you think this relates to the title of the novel?

Created: 12/24/18

Replies: 17

Posted Dec. 24, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3058

Do you think the setting feels ominous? How is this achieved? How do you think this relates to the title of the novel?

The characters seem to feel that the setting is a source of menace: the tree line makes them feel "under siege" and "feral"; the trees "play tricks," they "whisper," "shudder," "groan," and "gaze." Do you think the setting feels ominous? How is this achieved? How do you think this relates to the title of the novel?


Posted Jan. 07, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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rosannes

Join Date: 01/29/13

Posts: 44

RE: Do you think the setting feels ominous? How is this achieved? How do you think this relates to the title of the novel?

Yes, it did feel ominous. I guess the sense of urgency and the angst of those looking for her made you feel anxious.


Posted Jan. 07, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
robertaw

Join Date: 04/20/16

Posts: 67

RE: Do you think the setting feels ominous? How is this achieved? How do you think this relates to the title of the novel?

Absolutely---dark, cold, wet, no cell phone service, no shelter. Don't underestimate Mother Nature.


Posted Jan. 07, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
josephinej

Join Date: 05/11/15

Posts: 84

RE: Do you think the setting feels ominous? How is this achieved? How do you think this relates to the title of the novel?

Definitely the setting felt ominous. The words used to describe the forest, the dark, the lack of cell service - being cut off from all civilization. Just nature in its frightening form, not benevolent.


Posted Jan. 07, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Tired Bookreader

Join Date: 08/19/11

Posts: 187

RE: Do you think the setting feels ominous? How is this achieved? How do you think this relates to the title of the novel?

The setting would appear safe since it is a company outing. The fact that they got lost didn't change the forest, trees, etc. Normally, the forest would be comforting. The weather turned out to be unfriendly and that is why the problems occurred.


Posted Jan. 09, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Borntoread

Join Date: 09/04/18

Posts: 16

RE: Do you think the setting feels ominous? How is this achieved? How do you think this relates to the title of the novel?

Yes, the forest lands of the Giralang Ranges are consistently described as claustrophobic, dark, threatening, silent, and as a force to be contended with. Hence the title "Force of Nature:" Nature here as wilderness is unpredictable, powerful, and a force: something to be feared and, if possible, subdued.

The author achieved this effect in two ways: First, by her own descriptions of the wilderness, and secondly, by the fearful observations of the women as they try to cope with a challenging (and threatening, at times) environment. "It was strange, Jill thought, how much the bushland started to look alike." "The thick line of trees gave him the vaguely claustrophobic sense of being under siege." Thoughts like these from the characters create this ominous feeling. Also, the characters have to deal with a lot of rain and stormy weather while hiking and camping--the bad weather adds to the sense of malaise.

i actually think that the author overdoes the ominous setting a bit. The negative descriptions started to seem relentless to me in reinforcing this theme by the time I was two-thirds through the book. (A small flaw, but not a flaw that I found in her first book, "The Dry.") On the whole, though, I thought the sense of existential dread in the novel caused both by the setting and the flaws and tensions of the characters was well done.


Posted Jan. 09, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 330

RE: Do you think the setting feels ominous? How is this achieved? How do you think this relates to the title of the novel?

Clearly the setting felt ominous - I thought Harper did an excellent job describing the force of nature in her novel by that very name. Nature and the forest setting nearly became an added character. The overgrowth and undergrown of the forest, the dark created by lack of fire and the close proximity of the natural growth, the rain and sound/movement of animals or natural elements all made the journey of these women much more menacing and difficult than it would have been at a different time of year. It was the Force of Nature which kept the women on edge and created additional tension throughout their journey and ultimately, it was the force of nature which made the argument between Alice and Lauren lethal and made it possible for Bree to do what she did with Alice's remains.


Posted Jan. 10, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
scgirl

Join Date: 06/05/18

Posts: 182

RE: Do you think the setting feels ominous? How is this achieved? How do you think this relates to the title of the novel?

The setting was great for the book - cold, rainy, dark early, all the elements of suspense. Throw in the difficult terrain as well as the past serial murder events and the setting could stand all by itself!


Posted Jan. 10, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
katherinep

Join Date: 07/16/14

Posts: 337

RE: Do you think the setting feels ominous? How is this achieved? How do you think this relates to the title of the novel?

I agree with all the comments above--the description of the forest and terrain, the change in weather, the loss of food and water and the time going by with no evidence of anyone finding them or even looking for them-the descriptive writing was very successful in setting the feeling of the situation. The force of nature is that once your own supplies are damaged or depleted your success at surviving is only as good as your ability to overcome what Nature throws at you and Nature has lots of weapons to defeat humans, swiftly and easily. BTW, the one part of the book that I thought was unnecessary and distracting was the whole serial killer thread.


Posted Jan. 10, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 292

RE: Do you think the setting feels ominous? How is this achieved? How do you think this relates to the title of the novel?

With respect to science, Force of Nature refers to fundamental interaction, (including gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak interactions of particle physics). The ominous setting of the dark, cold, wet, confusing bush wilderness played right into the title. And it was the fundamental interaction of all the characters that told the story.


Posted Jan. 10, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janetr

Join Date: 02/05/14

Posts: 29

RE: Do you think the setting feels ominous? How is this achieved? How do you think this relates to the title of the novel?

The ominous setting is achieved by having the main characters totally unaware of the dangers that live and breathe inside the forest. What seems like a gentle exercise for the boss for whom they work, turns into a nightmare even before it is dark on the first day. The characters are not necessarily friends, only co-employees except for a pair of twins who do not get along. The scene is dark and dreary and moves from that into a wily and unpredictable force of nature. The tension among the women of this trip and the silent but dangerous elements of the forest make a perfect setting for this drama.


Posted Jan. 10, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janetr

Join Date: 02/05/14

Posts: 29

RE: Do you think the setting feels ominous? How is this achieved? How do you think this relates to the title of the novel?

I did enter a message in the space this space on another page, I guess it's lost

Don't have time to write another one.


Posted Jan. 11, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorinned

Join Date: 10/13/14

Posts: 176

RE: Do you think the setting feels ominous? How is this achieved? How do you think this relates to the title of the novel?

The setting was very ominous. Nature can be difficult to contend with, and this novel certainly made one realize that it's no small thing to be lost in a large remote forest. Force of Nature is the perfect title for this book.


Posted Jan. 11, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Windsong

Join Date: 05/07/13

Posts: 91

RE: Do you think the setting feels ominous? How is this achieved? How do you think this relates to the title of the novel?

Yes, It is remote. The lades are inexperienced. The boss is late arriving due to a family matter at home. Harper uses subtle descriptions which ten to make a reader wary of what is coming next.


Posted Jan. 15, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
maribethr

Join Date: 10/29/14

Posts: 26

RE: Do you think the setting feels ominous? How is this achieved? How do you think this relates to the title of the novel?

Absolutely ominous and creepy. Harper has a talent for using language that makes it seem you can feel the atmosphere. Her birds didn't coo or tweet, instead they "laughed and screamed". She described the atmosphere as feral, and you waited for people to encounter snakes or other predators, possibly human. Did anyone ever feel snug and warm as you read this book? The constant feel of rain and dampness gave the impression no one was ever completely safe. It is one of the reasons Harper is a magician since she can transport you to the point you really have a sense of being part of the experience.


Posted Jan. 15, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
colleena

Join Date: 07/18/18

Posts: 34

RE: Do you think the setting feels ominous? How is this achieved? How do you think this relates to the title of the novel?

Yes, the setting feels ominous, dark and closed in. The trails were narrow, with thick trees overhead. The brush was thick and difficult to traverse. Darkness hovered over the hikers. Rain made the experience worse. Nature can change quickly from sunny to foggy, rainy to sleet, light to darkness. It definitely can be considered a Force which cannot be stopped but only be adapted to. The hikers tried to make the best of a bad situation as conditions continually worsened.


Posted Jan. 25, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
louisee

Join Date: 06/29/15

Posts: 137

RE: Do you think the setting feels ominous? How is this achieved? How do you think this relates to the title of the novel?

The setting does feel ominous when it is described as a dense forest with trails that aren't well marked or well traveled. Also it's cold and wet and they are hiking with no cell phones and poor service. With all of these signs you just know something bad is going to happen and it does. Most of the ominous signs were from nature, things or forces the characters had to contend with in the mountains. Then you find out some of the characters are also a force to be reckon with as it is in their nature to be bossy and mean.


Posted Jan. 28, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 386

RE: Do you think the setting feels ominous? How is this achieved? How do you think this relates to the title of the novel?

Yes ominous, the description of the forest. They are out off from civilization. Not being prepared nature can be deadly.


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