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Stormy Weather: A Novel

Автором Paulette Jiles

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В настоящее время недоступен на Scribd

Stormy Weather: A Novel

Автором Paulette Jiles

оценки:
4/5 (21 оценки)
Длина:
419 pages
7 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Oct 13, 2009
ISBN:
9780061752889
Формат:
Книге

Описание

From Paulette Jiles, the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of Enemy Women, comes a poignant and unforgettable story of hardship, sacrifice, and strength in a tragic time—and of a desperate dream born of an undying faith in the arrival of a better day

Oil is king of East Texas during the darkest years of the Great Depression. The Stoddard girls—responsible Mayme, whip-smart tomboy Jeanine, and bookish Bea—know no life but an itinerant one, trailing their father from town to town as he searches for work on the pipelines and derricks; that is, when he's not spending his meager earnings at gambling joints, race tracks, and dance halls. And in every small town in which the windblown family settles, mother Elizabeth does her level best to make each sparse, temporary house they inhabit a home.

But the fall of 1937 ushers in a year of devastating drought and dust storms, and the family's fortunes sink further than they ever anticipated when a questionable "accident" leaves Elizabeth and her girls alone to confront the cruelest hardships of these hardest of times. With no choice left to them, they return to the abandoned family farm.

It is Jeanine, proud and stubborn, who single-mindedly devotes herself to rebuilding the farm and their lives. But hard work and good intentions won't make ends meet or pay the back taxes they owe on their land. In desperation, the Stoddard women place their last hopes for salvation in a wildcat oil well that eats up what little they have left . . . and on the back of late patriarch Jack's one true legacy, a dangerous racehorse named Smoky Joe. And Jeanine, the fatherless "daddy's girl," must decide if she will gamble it all . . . on love.

Издатель:
Издано:
Oct 13, 2009
ISBN:
9780061752889
Формат:
Книге

Об авторе

Paulette Jiles is a novelist, poet, and memoirist. She is the author of Cousins, a memoir, and the novels Enemy Women, Stormy Weather, The Color of Lightning, Lighthouse Island, and News of the World, which was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award. She lives on a ranch near San Antonio, Texas.


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4.0
21 оценки / 9 Обзоры
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  • (4/5)
    This is the 4th book by Ms. Jiles that I have read. I liked all the others better. I was bothered a couple of times regarding the unnecessary add ons or filler ( I knew. Why they weren't edited out, just felt they added little to the story)...the background about the Comanches, the pages about the horses starving on the plains, the whole fiasco with her father and the cat. We knew her dad was a bad hombre, why include animal cruelty. That's why I gave it 3 1/2 stars.Life in Texas is tough. Life in Texas during the depression was hell.But, all said and done, a good book.
  • (4/5)
    “All over the oil fields and through the overcrowded towns, each person had some small reason that the snowfall was for them alone, a sign that their lives were going to get better.” — Paulette Jiles, “Stormy Weather”Most lives did get better. In Texas during the 1930s, with Depression, drought and dust storms to contend with, there was nowhere to go but up. Paulette Jiles tells in “Stormy Weather” (2007), her second novel, about how one particular family of women struggle to make their lives better.Most of the focus falls on Jeanine, Elizabeth Stoddard's middle daughter, a determined, hard-working young woman who had been her father's favorite because she had covered for him when he went out drinking and gambling, often with her in tow. Soon he's dead under embarrassing circumstances, and the four women are on their own, though not necessarily worse off than they were moving from one oil field to another with a man who wasted whatever money he made.They return to the home of the girls' grandparents only to discover they owe back taxes. Mayme, the older sister, gets a job. Elizabeth invests what little money they have in an oil well. Bea, the youngest, dreams of becoming a writer. Jeanine, however, wants to keep the land and make it pay, drought or no drought. Soon she is forced to sell her prized possession, a horse named Smoky Joe, although she retains a 10 percent share in any money he might win in match races.Jiles writes with a style that says literature, yet the resolution of her plot screams schlock. We expect their lives to get better. But when the drought ends, the wildcat well strikes oil, Smoky Joe wins his race, Bea makes her first magazine sale and Jeanine finds true love, it all seems too good to be true.
  • (5/5)
    After reading Paulette Jiles' News of the World earlier this year, I was eager to read all her historical fiction. Like News, Stormy Weather is also set in Texas. This one takes place from 1927 to 1939, and mostly in places within an hour to an hour-and-a-half's drive from my home, places like Mineral Wells and Ranger and Cisco and Rising Star, Palo Pinto and Comanche Counties, and on the Brazos and Leon Rivers. Not surprisingly, I loved this book.Jeanine Stoddard is nine when the book begins, accompanying her drinking, gambling, womanizing father on an errand. He's an oilfield worker, and the family - Jeanine's mother and older and younger sisters - move from one town to another, following the Texas oil boom. A man named Ross Everett helps Jeanine get her father home. Later, her father dies in the height of the Depression, and the women have nowhere to go than back to Elizabeth's family home, vacant since her parents died some years previously.Jeanine's mother and sisters seem to blame their situation on Jeanine, for "always covering up for him." So Jeanine sets out to make the falling-down farm operable again. She fixes the roof, clears cedar from the land, revitalizes the peach orchard - and finds time to remake old clothes of good cloth into something new for her mother and sisters. Slowly but surely, despite the dust storms and drought, the old house becomes a home.When Jeanine's little sister breaks her leg and needs an operation, Jeanine sells the one thing she has left from her dad - a fast horse named Smoky Joe - to Ross Everett, now a widower. Instead of giving her a higher cash offer on the horse, he offers her a stake in Joe's future winnings - and Jeanine accepts. Gambling seems to run on both sides of her family - her mother, meanwhile, has been buying up shares in a wildcatter's oil well.Read more at Bookin' It.
  • (4/5)
    OK, it sounds like a bumper sticker platitude. But: I {heart} Paulette Jiles. This is the third of her books that I’ve picked up, and none have disappointed. She peoples interesting stories into the midst of historical events; the reader gets a fascinating history lesson for mind and heart. Although not my favorite of hers, this is still a great story. Stormy Weather (cue the song) takes us across the state of Texas during the dust bowl crisis of the 1930s. We learn a lot about oil drilling, match racing and farming and ranching. Perhaps this wasn’t my favorite Jiles because of the topics; I’m not into horses and the oil business makes my eyes glaze over.Some of her descriptions had me saying, ‘yep, been there’. Having driven the roads between relatives in Oklahoma for years, I’ve watched “The horsehead pumpjacks {working} away untended, nodding and nodding, as if perpetually agreeing with everything…” And at Grandma’s house, “How many times had they hung sheets to sit beside the stove, doubled up naked in a number three washtub…?” (For more of her writing, see the CK.) But, it’s her descriptions of what people did to cope with their situations that make this book.“Whatever kind of life they had been able to cobble together despite the Depression and the oil fields and their father’s love of good times and gambling was collapsing all around them. . . . They tried to piece their lives together the way people draw maps of remembered places; they get things wrong and out of proportion, they erase and redraw again.” The family at the center of this story: Jack Stoddard, a father who loves his family but is too fond of a good time, whose pockets empty faster than they fill. Chasing jobs all across Texas, following new oil business; because he was good with horses, he could haul supplies. Dragging his family from shed to tent to shared rickety old houses. Elizabeth Tolliver Stoddard, a mother who tries to make a home with very little to work with. And their girls: Mayme, her heart on her sleeve, but a loyal and eager to help sister, 15; Jeanine, “Daddy’s girl” and the practical one, 13; and Bea, the imaginative “bookish” sister, 6 at the beginning of the story. Each (and everyone else in the story) fully realized; very good characterization. As always with Paulette Jiles: Highly recommended.
  • (4/5)
    Liked the book. I kept waiting for something horrible to happen. But it didn't thank goodness. yes bad things happened. Loved the strong women in the book. Book about the depression in Tx. Liked the love story. A big depressing. And the author writes sort of with a flat affect sometimes.
  • (5/5)
    Jeanine's childhood is spent moving from one oil strike to the next along with her mother and two sisters by a father who's work moving pipeline and changing addictions keep them dirt poor. Still, she is her father's favorite and because she is his confidant learns to be more at home on the race track or wherever the men gather to talk shop than with other women. When her father dies, the family is left with no where to turn but her mother's home place, a farm in north central Texas that has been abandoned and neglected. With the drought and the depression bearing down on them, Jeanine's determination to bring the farm back and keep her father's race horse, Smokey Joe, becomes the glue that holds the family together.
  • (1/5)
    I finally gave up after 100 pages. I got bogged down in the oil industry. Maybe I will try it again later.
  • (3/5)
    As usual Jiles gives us an easy to swallow history lesson, this time with a strong resilient family of women at its center. Our heroine is Jeanine, one of three sisters, and the favorite of their father Jack, a gambler, lover of horses, and chaser of the Texas oil fields during the dark years of the Depression. Jack Stoddard's wife Elizabeth is forced to provide for her family in one shack after another as they move from town to town. Gradually, hopes for anything better dwindle to nothing, and Jack dies as a result of his own folly. The women head back to Elizabeth's family's abandoned farm where they set out to repair the house and make it livable. Jeanine's goal is to restore the farm as well, but this becomes complicated by her on-again, off-again love affair with Ross Everett, a well-to-do gambler and horse owner she'd met as a child when she followed her father around to the bars and horse races. The characters of the Stoddard women are all different; their interactions with each other are some of the best parts of the story. The descriptions of life in the terrible times of the American drought and the dust bowl, the Texas oil fields, and the world of horse racing in those days are well done. Jiles always provides a romance with a touch of the bittersweet. I would recommend this book, although it is not the author's best.
  • (4/5)
    3 1/2 ★

    Jeanine Stoddard grows up the favourite daughter of a gambling, womanizing father who travels with their family from job to job in East Texas during the depression. When he dies while in jail, it is her determination that gives her sisters an mother the push they need to restore their mother's deserted family home and get it the farm up and running again. In the meantime, her mother, who has never been good with money, starts investing in a wildcat oil well as they need to pay years of back taxes. Jeanine is also trying to figure out what to do with Smoky Joe, an unshod racing horse she inherited from her father.

    Jeanine has always considered herself someone who would never get married after a comment she heard about herself as a young child. her older sister, Mayme, goes through a couple of romances, while her younger sister, Bea, still a child, aspires to be a writer. When Bea has a serious accident falling down a well, their lives are invaded by a the county welfare nurse who not only constantly finds fault, but continually asks Bea to move to a state home.

    Ross Everett, a man who once aided Jeanine who was trying to take her dead drunk father home, has been in and out of her life ever since. In an attempt to earn more money, she sells the majority of Smoky Joe to him so he can race him and she can get a share of his winnings. This, along with Mayme's job and some work Jeanine picks up as a seamstress, are their only sources of income as they struggle through the end of the depression.

    While I liked this book overall, it's not as good as Enemy Women, and had I read this first, I might not have read any more novels by Jiles.