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Kit Hargrove is trying to reinvent herself. Following her divorce, she is shedding the skin of her former life as the wife of a Wall Street high-roller and embracing both a new home and a new job as assistant to world famous novelist Robert McClore, all the while remaining close to her children and friends in the affluent Connecticut town of Highfield. Her transition seems to be going well until a series of events dramatically reminds her that nothing is ever quite as it seems.
Kit’s friend Charlie and her husband lose everything as they become victims of the recession, the ambitious entrepreneur Tracy conceals the rekindling of her relationship with an abusive ex-lover who has eyes on Robert McClore’s wealth, and Kit’s life is turned up upside down when a long-lost sister she didn’t know she had has an affair with her ex-husband. Secrets and lies force this once tight group of friends to question not only who they can believe, but who they can trust.
Dune Road is an exploration into the facades we all build around us, the extreme measures to which we go in order to maintain them, and the importance of having those we love and respect support us when it all comes toppling down.
- The home is a powerful symbol throughout this book. To what extent does each characters’ idea of “home” affect her actions? How does it reflect who they are? How does your idea of home differ from those in the book?
- Dune Road offers a wide range of characters at different crucial moments in their lives. With which characters do you most identify? Which characters do you find most provocative?
- What significance does the idea of feminine identity have in this book? In what ways does the book stray from female archetypes we see in other literature and media? In what ways does it agree with them?
- The community of Highfield seems as much a character as any of the protagonists in the book. What role does social status play in Dune Road? How much pressure does it put on each character, if at all, and how does it drive their actions?
- Annabel says, during a discussion with Kit, that “we are either born addicts, or not.” Do you agree with this sentiment? What significance does fate have in the lives of Dune Road’s characters?
- Kit and Edie have a conversation regarding the nature of marriage in which Kit bemoans the imperfections of her marriage to Adam while Edie argues that “a lot of the time that’s all marriage is.” With whom do you agree? Do you consider, as Kit often worries throughout the book, her reconciliation with Adam as a “step backward?”
- How does Kit’s lonely childhood reflect in her adult life? How does Tracy’s experience with domestic abuse inform who she is? What role does these characters’ upbringing have in their lives?
- Charlie and Keith suffer great loss at the hands of the economic recession. How do you feel about Charlie’s anger toward Keith? Do you see Keith as a victim or as the guilty party? How important is it to you to share financial responsibility in a relationship?
- Two of the central themes of this book are loss and rebirth. How do you feel each of the characters handles loss? How important is the idea of reinvention to you?
- What are the moral implications of Adam and Annabel’s affair? Do you feel they were in the right to pursue each other or did they cross the line?
- One of the most surprising things about Tracy’s reconnection with Jed is that she sought him out on the Internet, despite a history of abuse. What does this say about the complex relationship between the abused and the abuser? What’s your opinion of Tracy’s actions throughout the book and how much control do you believe she had over her choices? Were they choices at all?
- How have these characters changed during the course of the book? What surprised you about the ending? What future do you see for each of the characters?