I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.Weathering by Lucy Wood
Published by Bloomsbury USA on January 19, 2016
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Women
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Pearl doesn't know how she's ended up in the river--the same messy, cacophonous river in the same rain-soaked valley she'd been stuck in for years. But here her spirit swirls and stays . . . Ada, Pearl's daughter, doesn't know how she's ended up back in the house she left thirteen years ago--with no heating apart from a fire she can't light, no way of getting around apart from an old car she's scared to drive, and no company apart from her own young daughter, Pepper. She wants to clear out Pearl's house so she can leave and not look back. Pepper has grown used to following her restless mother from place to place, but this house, with its faded photographs, its boxes of cameras and its stuffed jackdaw, is something new. Fascinated by the scattering of people she meets, by the river that unfurls through the valley, and by the strange old woman who sits on the bank with her feet in the cold, coppery water, Pepper doesn't know why anyone would ever want to leave.
As the first frosts of autumn herald the coming of a long winter and Pepper and Ada find themselves entangled with the life of the valley, with new companions who won't be closed out, each will discover the ways that places can take root inside us, bind us together, and become us.
Weathering sounds so amazing. Three generations trapped in a small town. A ghost trapped in a river, her drifter daughter returning to town with her daughter. Swirling, almost magical landscapes. I was so excited to read it. But sadly it was less than stellar. Pearl the ghost was just kind of there, not haunting, not comforting, just a wet footprint left here and there. Ada the daughter, a luckless mother who drags her daughter Pepper from one bad job and relationship after the other. Pepper the youngest member of the family is a precocious girl who is painted as wise above her years.
The problem with Weathering is in the characters. Pearl is just there as a dripping ghost, occasionally interjecting her confusion but not adding any real depth. Ada is very selfish and her mothering made me cringe. She takes her daughter from pillar to post with no real thought behind it. They move into a crumbling and literally rotting house with no heat and she occasionally tries to pick it up but basically leaves it a dangerous mess. And Pepper is portrayed in a manner that implies she should be sassy but it just comes across as bratty.
The world built was so-so, no specific country or area was ever stated so it could have been set anywhere which led to some confusion. The town was painted with broad strokes so it was hard to envision. The pacing was also not all there as it would jump all of the sudden. The plot was also lacking as there was nothing to achieve or conclusion to reach. It just seemed to move, jerk, then stop.
Weathering and it’s author Lucy Wood had potential, but to me it was never reached. I know some people love these nebulous stories but I am not one of them. I enjoy plot and tension and character development. And to me Weathering was lacking.
Favorite lines – The river moved in bulky ripples; behind it, the wet kaleidoscope of trees. The woods were so deep and sometimes there were hoarfrosts so thick in there it was as if the whole world had grown . . .
Biggest cliché – “I will never go home again.”
Have you read Weathering, or added it to your TBR?