Thursday, July 2, 2015
Book of the Week: Heavy Weather, Normandie Fischer
I'm no stranger to Normandie Fischer's writing. I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing her book, Sailing Out of Darkness a little over a year ago and I loved it. So it's been a truly incredible experience getting to know her over social media and call her a friend. I have the honor of receiving a copy of Heavy Weather directly from her. I was so excited to dive right in - but life got in the way.
But I finally picked it up and started reading one morning this week and was done with it the following night. I literally (in the purest use of the word!) read the last ten or so pages by the light of my phone while my husband slept so I wouldn't have to go to bed without closure.
THAT's how good the book is.
Each character has their own story. Each character pulls you in and makes you want to know more. This community, this town, these people - I want to know them all. I want to be a part of their inner circle. I want to celebrate their victories and mourn their losses. And as a reader of Heavy Weather, I do all of these things.
We start off with Hannah. Hannah stumbles into a scenario that shocks her. She immediately springs to action. Her actions leave her responsible for two beautiful children. Hannah, a temporary mom. Her husband isn't going to be thrilled about this - but she does it anyway.
We learn more about Hannah and her husband Matt. We learn why Hannah finds herself so attached to these kids so quickly. And why Matt is not quite as attached.
These children belong to Annie Mac. A mama who nearly gave her life to protect them from the man she used to love. Roy left her on the brink of death but she held on. And in doing so ensured that her kids would be kept safe. Especially Katie. Katie is Roy's daughter, but pretty much the entire town comes together to keep her safe.
Most especially the lieutenant on duty when Annie Mac is found. Clay Dougherty. Clay is a friend of Hannah and Matt. And quickly becomes a friend and support to Ty, Annie Mac's son. The connection between the two comes as easily as breathing. Ty also takes comfort in Hannah's dog, Harvey, who is an integral part of the story, as well. Which I love, because ... yay, dogs! And my goodness, I adore Ty. This young boy's character is one you'll fall in love with instantly. He's so young and so grown all at once. The big brother. The caretaker. He really does make the story.
The background characters aren't the kind that disappear into the setting. All of the characters have enough heart in them to earn their own books (and from what I've learned, one already has in Becalmed). And I'm kind of already hoping for a sequel to this one or a spin-off so we can see what happens to everyone down the line.
There's another character that I'd be remiss to leave out of my review. That character is the town itself. Beaufort is a beautiful coastal town in North Carolina. It truly exists, though I can't speak to if it's as lovely to live there as Fischer describes. But the town - the town consists of community - people who look out for one another. People who support, lean on and love each other. Sure, there are people who come and go, no doubt. And there are always bad apples. This is no exception, we find out who the bad apples are later in the book.
But the setting of Beaufort envelops Annie Mac and her children. The heart of the town nearly bursts with love for these two kids. It's comforting to see as you make your way through the story. It's a relief to find them cared for after all they've been through. And it's a relief to think of them as safe.
Roy doesn't just up and disappear, though. He wants his baby girl and he's not going to stop until he gets her. We don't like Roy. Not one bit. He's a lot of things that some really bad words would do to describe. But he makes the story what it is - he creates the situation that leaves Annie Mac in need of assistance - and leads to the connections that make the story what it is. Fischer writes evil really well, and writes unity in the face of evil even better.
For this and much more, I encourage you to pick up a copy of Heavy Weather today.
* This is NOT a sponsored post. I received a copy of this book directly from the author and was not compensated in any way for writing about it. There are affiliate links throughout so if you choose to buy any of these books I'll make a few pennies towards my next purchase, so thanks in advance. *