The discovery: I learned about Genanne Walsh's Twister
from a good friend (and the book's publicist), who thought this debut
novel would be a good match for me. I like the general premise of how a
major storm threatens not only to destroy a town but to expose the
secrets of its citizens. Here's the publisher's summary:
By turns terrifying and humorous, clear-eyed and deep-hearted, Twister brings us into the center of a storm as a small Midwestern town mourns the death of a young soldier. Rose, the soldier’s fiercely independent mother, may or may not be losing her grip on reality, and we seek answers along with the constellation of family, friends, neighbors, and townspeople whose lives intertwine with hers. Each new viewpoint calls up singular memories and intrigue, raising stakes while the twister gathers force. As the storm drives into the heart of town secrets are illuminated, pasts are resurrected, and lives are shaken to the core. An unforgettable debut from a keen observer and chronicler of nature, people, and the ineffable.Why I want to read Twister: I grew up in the Midwest in an area with seasonal tornadoes, so it can be hard for me to resist a good storm story. I'm sure the setting and circumstances will feel at least a little bit familiar to me, although my childhood in the suburbs was nothing like Rose's. Two aspects of this book are particularly attractive to me. I like stories that involve family secrets and also those that are told from more than one point of view. I'm also interested in learning how Rose copes (or doesn't) with the death of her son.
Extras: Awards--the novel was won the 2014 Big Moose Prize and was a finalist for the Brighthorse Prize. Excerpts of Twister have been published in magazines. Goodreads--the novel has a rating of 4.25. In the press--for more on Walsh and her novel, see the interview by TNB Fiction.
Reviews: Kirkus notes that Twister has "a surprising power." Other reviewers have mentioned Walsh's unique voice, wonderful descriptive prose, and subtle humor. Several readers said the pacing was steady and that Walsh takes her time developing the characters. However, once the plot points were set up, the story pulled them in and they were hooked to the end.
Data: Published by Black Lawrence Press on December 1, 2015. ISBN: 9781625579379. Debut novel. Trade paperback original.