Fiction Book Reviews

Book Review: Stormy Weather

By Sandy Amazeen Dec 21, 2008, 7:18 GMT

Book Review: Stormy Weather

A wry, wise new novel of Southern dreams and second chances. On the morning of her birthday, Vonda Thayer awakes from her American Dream to realize she’s living a domestic nightmare. She plays happy homemaker to two whiny, self-absorbed teenagers, a ranting, divorced monster-in-law, and her knocked-up oldest daughter, who’s just moved home to escape a deadbeat boyfriend. In her free time, Vonda stalks her no-good husband and his bimbo ...more

For Vonda Thayer’s fiftieth birthday her best friends gave her a red velvet cake, her husband shacked up with a little honey at a local hotel, her pregnant eldest daughter moved back home and the rest of her extended family continued dumping their problems on her doorstep. Deeply unhappy with her life and unable to face another thirty years of the same, Vonda begins seriously contemplating some changes. The problem is, she has become such a steady pillar for everyone, including her ill-tempered monster-in-law that not even her closest friends believe she can change.

When local architect and childhood friend, Terrell Barksdale invited Vonda out to a quick birthday dinner she figured, why not. If Terrell gave Vonda a glimpse of how her life could change for the better, coming home to find an ill, crotchety reprobate of a father-in-law intent on moving in clearly demonstrated family expectations. As hurricane Stella begins bearing down on northern Florida, Vonda’s family is set to weather the storm and each other. It provides Vonda a golden opportunity to help family members start addressing problems for themselves and break free from the mold she has been confined to for so long.

A delightful sense of humor and a real flair for character development make this journey of delayed self-discovery a treat. Vonda’s family is selfish, spoiled and convincingly dysfunctional. Her struggles to become her own person waffles enough for there to be some doubt as to whether she will grab what Terrell offers or continue with the unappreciated status quo. 

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