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  • 9780692110539 0692110534
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The Dry Country
Judith Pratt, author
The Dry Country is a landscape that changes as you walk through it. Hills become valleys. Places full of shrubs and grass become sand and rocks—or vice versa. No one crosses the Dry unchanged. The desperately poor and the keenly adventurous must hire a Guide to lead them across. Sam is a Dry Country Guide. In the novel, she leads the most impossible group she’s ever seen—young Miskin, who might be a thief, and several people who think the Dry is a scam and a swindle. Angry, the Dry Country separates the group and sends monsters.
Reviews
Amazon Cly Boehs

From the travels of Gilgamesh to Cedar Grove and Mount Mashu where the Hero overcomes monsters and mythological creatures to the Twelve Labors of Hercules to Harry Potter in the seven books of journeys with friends in a seemingly endless series of obstacles, the theme of the Hero’s journey has become a stable for storytelling from fairy tales to adventure movies. In Judith Pratt’s novel, Dry Country, the Hero’s journey lies between the place where its travelers has been—usually their home—to the place where they desire to be—ultimately to Maireport, where opportunities abound, even by ship to the ends of the world.

But in Dry Country the hero’s journey becomes not just a necessity to survival and to reach one’s destiny, but to claim one’s self-connection, the discovery of one’s identity— that’s if one cares to take on the responsibility of change. What begins as a perilous trip, through a landscape which provides few clues and many obstacles, turns into a twist of fate that can hold its pilgrims in its grasp if they don’t have the help of guides, guides who must have the in-sight to integrate Dry Country’s shifting character and insecure state-of-place with each traveler’s needs on their journey toward their destinies. In many ways, this novel’s story becomes whether its characters are willing to take on the challenge to self-knowledge. The role of chance in all of this is a subtext that makes the reading both adventurous and thought-provoking.
I was absolutely captivated by Dry Country’s effect on each of Pratt’s characters—in all some ten, 2 families and two individuals, plus a seasoned guide and a hopeful wannabe. Each traveler, well-delineated with personal background and personality, starts with her or his own reasons for crossing through this territory, most for self-betterment and some for self-interest, but all totally oblivious of the influence this trip will have on them. Miskin, the Hero—I refuse to call her the heroine because of what that term often suggests; she’s too strong for that—is learning to become a guide from the veteran, Sam, who’s getting ready for her retirement. Miskin has boundless energy, fearless hopes and dreams, but little know-how despite her desire to learn. Sam, central to this journey’s success, is losing her special gift of reading the Dry Country through exhaustion, years of anticipating and guiding others through it. And this becomes crucial as the crossing is full of disruptions from inside and outside the group that show clearly how necessary cooperation and empathy are to survival and any journey’s success.
We all read, listen and watch these adventures stories for what happens, and, trust me, you will not be disappointed. The special twist I mentioned above makes this novel both introspective (I thought about it lots after I’d finished) and a bold, fun adventure to get into. Some pages will turn slower than others because there are thought-provoking ideas that present themselves. They will require some reflection and that’s what makes this more than a simple, plot-driven adventure story. Pratt’s novel will encourage you to think about the story you are writing about your own journey toward a destiny that others will undoubtedly read.

Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 9780692110539 0692110534
  • pages
  • $

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