An Edgar Award Nominee for Best First Novel
“Dark and dangerous and strange and wonderful…Kennedy writes with the gritty poetry of Daniel Woodrell and misfit sensibility of Flannery O’Connor.” —Benjamin Percy
Deborah Kennedy tells the story of a five-year old girl who goes missing in a small town, a place where everyone knows something different about her disappearance and about each other.
Five-year-old Daisy Gonzalez’s father is always waiting for her at the bus stop. But today, he isn’t, and Daisy disappears. When Daisy goes missing, nearly everyone in town suspects or knows something different about what happened. And they also know a lot about each other. The immigrants who work in the dairy farm know their employers’ secrets. The hairdresser knows everything except what’s happening in her own backyard. And the roadkill collector knows love and heartbreak more than anyone would ever expect. They are all connected, in ways small and profound, open and secret.
By turns unsettling, dark, and wry, Kennedy’s powerful voice brings the town’s rich fabric to life. Tornado Weather is an affecting portrait of a complex and flawed cast of characters striving to find fulfillment in their lives – and Kennedy brilliantly shows that there is nothing average about an average life.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Deborah E. Kennedy’s first novel is a force of nature. Each chapter of Tornado Weather draws us into the worldview of a different resident of Colliersville, Indiana—a small town with some serious issues. When sweet elementary school student Daisy Gonzalez goes missing, suspicions swirl, divisions deepen, and dark secrets spill over. We tore through this magnetic and suspenseful story that’s laced through with true-to-life social issues and powerful magic.
Kennedy's heartbreaking debut novel captures the warped and isolated landscape of today's American Midwest. Narrated by myriad characters whose voices swirl into a vortex that becomes, literally, a tornado, the story hangs ever so loosely on the disappearance of Daisy Gonzalez, daughter of a local schoolteacher in Colliersville, Ind., who was disabled in the hit-and-run that killed her mother three years prior. The owner of a dairy farm nearby has replaced all his workers with Mexican laborers, and tensions in the community run high. Colliersville has only one policeman, but many others in town feel responsible for the missing girl, and a search ensues. Hector, Daisy's devastated father, cannot teach, nor eat, nor fathom what has happened. Fikus, the bus driver who left Daisy alone on the street the day she disappeared, convinces his old workmate, Irv, a hermit roadkill collector, to help him search for clues. Wally, adult child of the dairy farm owner who works at the local hair salon and wants to be called Willa, has an opinion about Daisy's disappearance, but Trevor, who talks to animals, knows better. Though this story is hung on a child gone missing and a tornado on the horizon, the focus is the flawed folks who people it. The author is a fine mimic, inhabiting her characters in such a way that we know them from the inside out. The denouement, coming as it does from a surreal, bird's-eye view, is very strange indeed. Kennedy's superb chorus leaves an indelible impression.
Such a good read
Very much enjoyed this book! Relevant to the turmoil we're experiencing now. Interesting story. Loved the ending.
Very good read. Get to know a lot of different characters from their POV, but sometimes it gets a little tangled on remembering all of the characters and I felt at times there was no closure of certain characters endings but it has a great ending the wraps it up for most of them! Wish you could continue to follow them but all stories needs to end!
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