Strange as This Weather Has Been

Strange as This Weather Has Been

Book - 2007
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Domestic conflicts involving a town's endangerment by mining plans threaten to tear apart a family when matriarch Lace contemplates fighting the mine owners and her daughter, Bant, becomes involved with a miner--Publisher.
Publisher: Emeryville, CA : Shoemaker & Hoard, c2007
ISBN: 9781593761660
159376166X
Branch Call Number: FIC Panc
Characteristics: 360 p.

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bell5133
Nov 25, 2018

A fictional novel about a family in southern West Virginia that seems so real, it could be nonfiction. The characters and dialogue are very believable. The grammar isn't perfect, but the way it's written has sense to it. Each chapter is from the perspective of a different character; some are first person narrators, some are third person. Usually it bothers me when a story isn't told in chronological order, but I didn't mind it too much in this one. The story is well told and made me weep for the earth and the poor people whose land and homes are destroyed in the name of corporate greed.

Favorite quotes:

"What we're doing to this land is not only murder. It is suicide." - Mogey

"Anybody with a grain of sense can see we're destroying what God made." - Loretta

"Kill the ground and trees by blasting out the coal, kill all the trees you don’t kill the first time through acid rain, kill the water with the waste you have to dump, and then, by burning the coal . . . heat up the climate and kill everything left. . . . The end times . . . won’t arrive with a trumpet and Jesus come back all of a sudden and everybody jump out of their graves. No. It is a glacial-pace apocalypse. The end of the world in slow motion. A de-evolution, like the making of creation in reverse. The End Times are in progress right now." - Avery

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Caitlin5656
Jul 04, 2011

I can't resist remarking on the previous review's use of the word "tone deaf." I find that term irresponsible considering that most people outside of West Virginia have no idea how "hill people" sound. Within West Virginia people are grateful that someone is finally representing their language and context accurately for once (I've witnessed this at readings there). When I first read this beautiful book I was surprised at the dialect because it sounded unfamiliar--I thought I already knew everything because I'd gone to movies and heard cheap accents on TV. So deeply ingrained are these fake accents that it took me awhile to give up this preconception of what Appalachians sound like (which is diverse as any complex culture). After only a few pages I found myself submersed in the language, imagery, the stunning blend of made-up words, poetic phrasing, and gut-wrenching description of a land and people rarely heard from. This kind of literature is on the wane in the current climate of "twittering," where saying it simple and dumb holds more importance than evoking place, people, or culture. Anyone who's read Faulkner will welcome anything written by Pancake--her work honors his, carries it on, and takes "real writing" to a new level.

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bell5133
Nov 25, 2018

bell5133 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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