Random Reads: Stormy Weather by Paulette Jiles

I just finished reading Stormy Weather by Paulette Jiles, author of Enemy Women, a book I’ve also read and own.

Stormy Weather is set in the Great Depression. It’s a story centered around a young woman and her itinerant family. Her father works on oil pipelines and derricks scattered around Texas, drinking and gambling most of the money away while he’s at it. He dies and leaves his wife and three daughters with nothing but the hope of returning to the abandoned family farm. The long-abandoned farm requires hard work and commitment, and presents them with hardships of all kinds. The women struggle to reconcile their long-held dreams of the farm against the reality of life on a farm – especially one so run-down. Along the way the women learn to care for and take care of one another. They learn to do things they never would have dreamed they could do and in turn are able to move forward and have the life they dreamed of for so long.

A sub-plot of Stormy Weather is the story of Smoky Joe, a wild racehorse that was purchased by their gambling father. The horse is dangerous and moody….and fast. The horse is a wonderful metaphor of the main character herself. Both are a bit wild and determined, but eventually find some solidarity and purpose and are able to move forward: leaving their past behind and embracing what the future holds for them.

Stormy Weather

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