I don't think that every reader that reads this book is going to claim the identical central theme of the book. The story presented to readers has multiple important themes throughout the text. One particular theme is about the law and rebellion. The story is set during Prohibition, and the book shows readers how futile the "noble experiment" was. We are shown how historically law-abiding people intentionally break the law. We also get to see corruption in many various levels and scenarios. The flooding that happens is also central to the book, so another important theme is a theme of survival and community. The flood waters keep getting higher and higher, and the townspeople are forced to work together in hopes of mutual survival. Finally, there is a theme of marriage and family present in the book too. Events center on Jesse and Dixie and their broken marriage.