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Evening Book Club: Book Club

Schedule, discussion questions, book lists, author information, reviews, and more.

Contact Information

For more information regarding the Evening Book Club, please contact: Jaclyn Gomez at

Meeting Schedule

Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions

  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 soulmate 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?

Book Summary

The Dry by Jane Harper


After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke’s steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead.

Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there’s more to Luke’s death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets.

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