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Dry Ice Reading Guide

Print these questions and use them to lead a discussion about Dry Ice.

SPOILER WARNING! This guide does address the entire book—the ending is revealed. Do not read any further unless you have read the entire book!

"I really don't need this."
At the start of Dry Ice, how would you describe Alan Gregory's state of mind regarding his career and his marriage?

"Secrets usually aren't as important as our  motivation for keeping them."
This is a book about secrets and their destructive energy. In Chapter 4, Alan thinks about the nature of secrets and the fears that grow overtime the longer you keep the secrets. Can you list some of the many secrets that Alan, Lauren Crowder, and Sam Purdy were keeping—both personally and professionally?  Can you understand why they chose to keep their secrets for so long? Were they right to keep their pasts hidden?

"That's all I can say."
Alan, Lauren, and Sam are used to keeping secrets—it is required in their professions. Alan and Lauren often can not talk to each other about their work. How do you think this affected their marriage?

"Music hurts."
In Dry Ice, Lauren's MS irritations and exacerbations were getting worse. As a result, she was using marijuana to relieve some of the pain that she was experiencing.  Lauren was in "legal quicksand" because of state law versus federal law. The use of medicinal marijuana led to her detainment at the airport and her possible future arrest. What's your opinion on her use of marijuana? How will this affect her career?

"He's determined. He's vengeful. And he's very smart."
How does Michael McClelland individually threaten and set up Alan, Lauren, and Sam?

"Michael McClelland had been sleeping two dozen steps from my front door."
Of all the terrible things that Michael McClelland did to people in Dry Ice, his victims and his accomplices, which frightened you the most?

"She's putting some distance between us."
Do you think Alan and Lauren's marriage is failing? Can you point to examples of mistrust between them? Were you surprised by their distance?

"Some days are never forgotten. They are indelible."
Stephen White's original title for this novel was Indelible Days. Can you explain how that title applied to this book?

"Raw tragedy trumps personal drama every time."
Alan's secret about his father's death and Lauren's secret about her first child were quite shocking but then Adrienne's death put them both in perspective. They became inconsequential in sight of that tragedy. How did you feel when you read about Adrienne's death? Do you think the revelations about Alan and Lauren's past will change their marriage? How will Jonas change things for them?

"I didn't want what happened…to define who I am for the rest of my life."
At the end of Dry Ice, where do Alan, Lauren, and Sam stand professionally?  Where do Alan and Lauren stand in their marriage? What do you predict will happen to these three characters in future books? Are there still more secrets to reveal?

 

Dry Ice by Stephen White

Signet (USA) Paperback 2008, ISBN: 0451221001

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