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Natural Disasters in Fiction

October 13, 2022

I love weather books. If you write one, I will read it. But usually these books are nonfiction. This time, these are all fiction books! With weather (or other natural disasters which I also enjoy)! If you’re a nerd like me, you definitely need to check these out. Even if you’re not, there are some good reads here.

Like I said, I’m a big weather nerd so I got excited when I saw this title. Plus I’d just finished reading Solomon’s first book, The Ex Talk. I loved that one, so reading this one had to be a no-brainer. Solomon always does such a great job building real characters. The story is set at a local Seattle TV station. Ari Adams is the morning weather girl, but her bosses, a divorced couple, are driving everybody nuts with their constant fighting. When Ari realizes there still might be feelings there, she enlists the help of her friend, sports guy Russell, to Parent Trap their bosses and make the office a better place to work. She didn’t count on falling in love herself. I enjoyed this one, but did wish there was more about the weather.

This is not the type of book I usually read. My go-to is light and funny, with a happily ever after if possible. This is not that read, but it pulled me in nonetheless. On January 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, killing over 200,000 people and devastating it’s capital city of Port-au-Prince. Chancy weaves together the stories of several individuals who lived through The Event (and some that did not) as the locals came to call it. These are fictional stories, but if you read the acknowledgment section at the end, the author explains how she worked with and for the Haitian recovery effort and the stories she told were amalgamations of what she witnessed. This book was captivating, and I couldn’t put it down once I started. Also, interesting that she gave it a title about storms, but the book was about an earthquake. I polished it off in one day. It’s not light reading by any means, but it was very moving. 

On Labor Day weekend in 1935, one of the strongest hurricanes ever hit the United States, making landfall in the Florida Keys. As one of only four Category 5 storms to hit the US, the Labor Day hurricane did major damage in the Upper Keys, especially in Upper Matecumbe and Islamorada, which was basically wiped off the map by the massive storm surge. The author does a good job of inserting three strong female characters into this maelstrom. The other defining feature of this monster storm are the WWI veteran camps that were destroyed. I liked how the author tied those in as well. I’ve read several nonfic books about this hurricane, and the author did a good job of telling a story on top of this natural disaster. Excellent read.

By the time I figured out that I wasn’t going to get a big weather scene, this book had utterly captivated me. In September 2017, Hurricane Maria grew into the strongest storm of the season, and it decimated the island of Puerto Rico, causing billions of dollars in damage and killing thousands of people in her path. Elena Vega’s father might be one of them, but no one can find him. So, at the urging of her mother, Elena heads to the island to track him down, if possible. Along the way, she meets family members and friends that her parents had hidden from her. This book pulled me in and kept me guessing. No big weather drama (sad face), but still a powerful story that is well worth the time.

The forecast: partly sunny with a chance of magic. Check these bad boys out today!

Happy weatherizing…

:) Amanda

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Amanda is a classically-trained pianist who loves to read. Like any good librarian, she also has two cats named after Italian cities. Amanda spends her free time sitting in Nashville traffic, baking, and running the Interlibrary Loan office at the Nashville Public Library.