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Right after the Weather

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The author of the “graceful and compassionate” (People) New York Times best seller Carry the One presents a new and long-awaited novel exploring what happens when untested people are put to a hard test and in its aftermath find themselves in a newly uncertain world. 

It’s the fall of 2016. Cate, a set designer in her early 40s, lives and works in Chicago’s theater community. She has stayed too long at the fair and knows it’s time to get past her prolonged adolescence and stop taking handouts from her parents. She has a firm plan to get solvent and settled in a serious relationship. She has tentatively started something new even as she’s haunted by an old, going-nowhere affair. Her ex-husband, recently booted from his most recent marriage, is currently camped out in Cate’s spare bedroom, in thrall to online conspiracy theories, and she’s not sure how to help him. Her best friend, Neale, a yoga instructor, lives nearby with her son and is Cate’s model for what serious adulthood looks like.

Only a few blocks away but in a parallel universe, we find Nathan and Irene - casual sociopaths, drug addicts, and small-time criminals. Their world and Cate’s intersect the day she comes into Neale’s kitchen to find these strangers assaulting her friend. Forced to take fast, spontaneous action, Cate does something she’s never even considered. She now also knows the violence she is capable of, as does everyone else in her life, and overnight, their world has changed. 

Anshaw’s flawed, sympathetic, and uncannily familiar characters grapple with their altered relationships and identities against the backdrop of the new Trump presidency and a country waking to a different understanding of itself. Eloquent, moving, and beautifully observed, Right After the Weather is the work of a master of exquisite prose and a wry and compassionate student of the human condition writing at the height of her considerable powers. 

©2019 Carol Anshaw (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • J
  • 31/12/2019

Brilliantly Written & Stunningly Unexpected

This is my last read of 2019 and the best of the year! I fell in love with Carol ANshaw's writing years ago when I first read Seven Moves, and her witty, tongue-in-cheek humor, flawed yet fascinating characters, and lyrical prose still leave me in awe at the end of one of her stories. And I have to say, this book is one of her best. There is so much going on in this story--the exploration of a number of types of relationships, the shift in the U. S. political climate following the 2016 election, the traversing of the rocky inner landscape of the main character who's somehow lost her way on the path to middle age and finds herself scrambling for purchase to get her life on track, and a violent event that changes her forever in unexpected ways. And Anshaw manages it all with her Usual and impressive mastery of the art of writing fiction. And the narration by Candace Thaxton & Pete Simonel is excellent and fits with the feel of the story perfectly. A true enhancement. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an indepth exploration of the inner workings of human strengths as well as frailties and writing that keeps you hooked until the very last word...and even then, I wanted more.

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