We Speak in Storms

Natalie Lund. Philomel, $17.99 (464p) ISBN 978-0-525-51800-6
Lund interweaves the traumatic stories of storm victims separated by generations in her debut novel. Fifty years after a 1961 tornado tore through Mercer, Ill., a similar storm passes through the town, and several of the long-deceased return to the scene. While observing the living, the dead provide memories as well as commentary on their communal, ghostly present. After realizing that they are each being visited by a ghost, three loners—whose stories interweave with the ghosts’—connect. Brenna is bullied because of her Mexican heritage; Joshua is an ostracized gay teen; and Callie is coming to terms with her mother’s terminal cancer. Each of the ghosts brings understanding and comfort to the teens while seeking peace for themselves. Dot, an incest survivor with a powerful singing voice, counsels Brenna, who longs to write; Luke, a closeted teen, supports Joshua; and Mrs. Vidal, who survived the ’61 storm, comforts Callie. Through interconnected stories of pain and courage, Lund captures the pathos and resilience of a town still working through trauma in this lyrical ghost story. Ages 12–up. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary Agency. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 09/11/2019
Release date: 09/03/2019
Genre: Children's
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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