Why this book?
This is the novel I can only wish I had written. Pancake’s expansive story of a family in a desperate struggle to save their homes and hollows from the ravages of mountaintop removal mining gives voice to modern-day Appalachians in the same way The Grapes of Wrath spoke for the displaced farmers of the Dustbowl era. (As one who loves Steinbeck’s epic, I don’t make this connection lightly!) Another heartrending masterwork that I couldn’t stop thinking about as I read this book is Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible because of its centering on motherhood, its similar structure, and its ability to pull the reader into the lives of the characters. This is storytelling at its best. I couldn’t put it down.
Strange as This Weather Has Been
Why should I read it?
1 author picked Strange as This Weather Has Been as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.
What is this book about?
A West Virginia family struggles amid the booms and busts of the Appalachian coal industry in this “powerful, sure-footed, and haunting” environmental novel from an author with echoes of John Steinbeck (The New York Times Book Review)
Set in present day West Virginia, this debut novel tells the story of a coal mining family—a couple and their four children—living through the latest mining boom and dealing with the mountaintop removal and strip mining that is ruining what is left of their hometown. As the mine turns the mountains “to slag and wastewater,” workers struggle with layoffs and children find adventure…