When Daisy goes missing, nearly everyone in town suspects or knows something different about what happened. And they also know a lot about each other. The immigrants who work in the dairy farm know their employers’ secrets. The hairdresser knows everything except what’s happening in her own backyard. And the roadkill collector knows love and heartbreak more than anyone would ever expect. They are all connected, in ways small and profound, open and secret.
By turns unsettling, dark, and wry, Kennedy’s powerful voice brings the town’s rich fabric to life. Tornado Weather is an affecting portrait of a complex and flawed cast of characters striving to find fulfillment in their lives – and Kennedy brilliantly shows that there is nothing average about an average life.
Although the novel begins with the sudden disappearance of a child, this is not a mystery or a study of parental devastation – even though those things happen. Tornado Weather is a story of a race, class, ignorance, and small town on the brink.
In this, as in many towns, everyone might know everybody’s name but not their emotional prison. Kennedy carefully delineates the characters by giving them each a singular voice as the narrator of their own chapters.
Emily Fridlund described it best in her New York Times review:
“Though the book shows us trapped people in a declining town, there is nothing at all claustrophobic about a narrative that shifts its lenses continually and deliberately, playing with degrees of identification as it slides among more than a dozen viewpoints. When two enemies meet accidentally near the end, we see them mourning private griefs, and, having experienced so much, they part at last without rancor: “They knew too much now, of men and women and the world, to hate each other any longer.” By the end of this well-crafted, humane and energetic novel, readers know too much of Kennedy’s characters not to sympathize.”
With all the humanity and humor in Tornado Weather you will surely enjoy getting to know these flawed and injured characters.
Happy Reading, Susan C.
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