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About this book
When an accident jeopardizing the family farm draws Amiah Williams back to Kingsley, Alberta, population 1431, she doesn’t expect her homecoming to make front-page news. But there she is in the Inquirer, the mysterious tabloid that is airing her hometown's dirty laundry. Alongside stories of high school rivalries and truck-bed love affairs, disturbing revelations about Amiah's past and present are selling papers and fuelling small-town gossip. As the stakes get higher, Amiah must either expose the twisted truth behind the Inquirer or watch her life fall apart again.
Jaclyn Dawn's debut novel provides an incisive look at the lingering consequences of past relationships and the price of both staying silent and speaking up.
Book Club Questions
- If you were pitching this novel as a bookseller or recommending it to a friend, which category in the bookstore or genre would you classify it as?
- How does Miah grow and change in this novel? Does Mike? Miah’s parents, Danika, and Alek?
- How do you think the plot would have played out if the source of the Inquirer was not discovered when and how it was?
- Which character can you best relate to? Can you best see yourself as a writer, reader, or topic of the Inquirer?
- What types of headlines would make up the tabloid of your life?
- Do you think people would think twice about what they write or read on social media if it was in print form like the Inquirer?
- Do you think a newspaper like the Inquirer would have been received differently in a larger community?
- Will you look at the tabloids and gossip magazines when you’re in the grocery store line any differently after reading this novel?
"A clever novel that reveals both the anxieties and strengths woven into tight-knit communities. The Inquirer is a thoroughly enjoyable read."
"In The Inquirer, Jaclyn Dawn has crafted something so rare—a great story full of fascinating characters, sly humour, and understated intelligence—that news of its appearance might just get reported in the tabloids her novel so lovingly satirizes. Amiah Williams's journey back to her hometown of Kingsley, Alberta, is funny and winning, neither of which factors obscure the troubling realities young women too often face.”
"A bildungsroman that never drags, Dawn's debut novel is appealing both in its innovation—it intersperses newspaper articles from the Inquirer throughout—and its unexpected insights from Amiah, its well-drawn narrator." full review
"This is an excellent beginning for a new writer, with a good eye for detail and intriguing plots."
"The Inquirer is a refreshing departure from so many tired Canadian literary tropes."
"Dawn's depiction of family dynamics set against vividly accurate rhythms of rural life is the book's strongest feature. Anyone who has left their small community to strike out in search of greater horizons [...] can relate."
"Jaclyn Dawn’s debut novel is one that intrigues and delights.... Think of this one as the small-town Alberta answer to Gossip Girl." full review
"...a fast read that’s light-hearted, funny, and sweet." full review