The Dry is a historical fantasy or fairytale set in the late 1890’s of Virginia when children were used to work in the coal mines. A desperate drought has taken place in the area and Elliot has been left with his Uncle Nat while his newspaperman father searches out the story of missing children. He doesn't return when he's supposed to and so three months past his expected return date, Elliot, feeling his uncle's disgruntlement at his continued presence, sets out to find his father.
Elliot travels to a coal mine where the children are forced to work and ends up in a strange world called Penumbra. Penumbra is filled with creatures of all sorts that can talk and do all kinds of amazing things.
There are interesting facts about wasps at the beginning of each chapter that have nothing to do with the book, although there are wasps in the story. The author makes a note at the beginning of the book that the facts are there simply so that readers can learn 42 fascinating facts about wasps that they didn't know before (all without knowing they were learning something). I think that's a wonderful idea!
The Dry is rich with fun language: palindromes as well as uniquely and brilliantly descriptive word choices - "noodley grass tufted across the far bank", " trees stretched across like a crowd of old men warming their skinny limbs".
The Dry is a book that makes the reader think along with Elliot, for the words can have a double meanings. That's part of the twisting and turning in the plot of the story. There's plenty of that and it all happens fairly quickly too.
If you enjoy fantasy and fairytales, I suggest you give The Dry a read. I think you'll enjoy it. I rated it 4 stars out of 5.
Thank you to the author for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.
This review was published on my blog Shelf Full of Books at http://kathrynsshelffullofbooks.blogspot.com/2015/03/book-review-dry-by-rebecca-nolen.html