Title: Stormy Weather
Author: Paulette Jiles
Narrator: Colleen Delaney
Publisher: HarperAudio, May 8, 2007
Genre: Literary Fiction, Historical, recommended
Paulette Jiles is a one of a kind talent, and in honor of her soon to be released title News of the World, (William Morrow, October 4, 2016, pre-order it now) I decided to revisit and review some of her older titles.
Stormy Weather is the evocative tale of a girl growing up during the dustbowl years in Texas surrounded by poverty and strife. The story is heartfelt and populated with individual and deeply drawn characters. Life is rough for the Stoddard family, but especially Jeanine, a young daughter who finds herself learning certain questionable skills as she is drug from oilfield to oilfield by a father always looking for a quick fortune through gambling and high risk propositions. Her life is continuously disrupted by loss even after her father’s death, yet she manages to remain hopeful. As a young woman, her resilience and stubbornness might be the only thing capable of saving the land she has come to love and keeping her family from starvation. Will she have to choose to let go of all she has hard-won to have love?
Jiles is a master at sinking the reader immediately into a deep cool current of imagery to drift, suspended in wonder, helpless, as one shadow-filled scene passes after another until the end. She wrote one of my all-time favorite books, Lighthouse Island, which is really somewhat of a science or speculative fiction novel, and several other novels in the historical genre that are also very well written and enjoyable. I hope she writes many more! I read every one, and so should you.
Read it to be transported into Jeanine’s bit of history– Texas oil strikes, horse betting, silk stockings, dust-choked train cars, peach orchards, blacksmith alley poker games, and all the rest.