Hailed as a “clear-eyed book written with poetry and compassion” by The Boston Globe, Let the Tornado Come is the “lyrical debut memoir” (Kirkus Reviews) of a runaway child, the woman she became, and the horse that set her free.
When Rita Zoey Chin was eleven years old, she began running away from home. Her parents’ violence and neglect drove her onto the streets in search of a better life, but what she found instead was a dangerous world of drugs and predatory men—as well as the occasional kindness of strangers. As she hits bottom and then learns to forge a new life for herself, all of her dreams of freedom and beauty pivot on a single, precious memory: a herd of horses running along a roadside fence.
A few years later, Rita—now a prizewinning poet and wife of a successful neurosurgeon—appears to have triumphed over her harrowing childhood, until she is struck with a series of debilitating panic attacks that threaten her comfortable new life. Ultimately, it is the memory of those hoofbeats, and the chance arrival of a spirited, endearing horse named Claret who has a difficult history himself, that will finally save her.
“A near euphoric ode to the human spirit” (Huffington Post), Let the Tornado Come is about pulling yourself up out of the dark and discovering that the greatest escape lies not in running from, but turning towards, those things that frighten you the most; it is “luminous…A haunting yet hopeful saga that shows how trauma and fear can transform themselves into enduring strength” (Publishers Weekly).
A bond with a troubled horse helps a woman overcome a legacy of abuse and exploitation in this alternately harrowing and luminous confessional memoir. Chin, a poet and essayist, grew up in a deeply dysfunctional family, viciously beaten by her wrathful dad and disowned by her unstable mother. She began running away at age thirteen and was soon dividing her time between institutions and the streets, where she slipped into a life of drugs and prostitution. She left it behind in adulthood with a writing career and marriage to a neurosurgeon but suddenly came down with panic attacks that left her terrified of showering, climbing staircases, driving and almost everything else. After an unhelpful tour of therapeutic regimens, she sought relief by learning to ride and understand a horse with its own unfathomable anxieties. Chin's story moves between nerve-wracking yet never overplayed episodes of violence and degradation in her youth, and the quiet, baffling tensions of her adult neuroses. Twining through it are lyrical, exuberant scenes lit by her abiding "belief that there was beauty to be had in this world." The result is a haunting yet hopeful saga that shows how trauma and fear can transform themselves into enduring strength.
Compelling from start to finish!
Good luck putting this book down ! Phenomenal read from beginning to end !! QED
This is an incredible story of determination, resourcefulness, and love. You will be inspired and probably see the world a little differently after reading this book.