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Falling to Earth di Kate Southwood
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Falling to Earth (edizione 2013)

di Kate Southwood (Autore)

UtentiRecensioniPopolaritàMedia votiCitazioni
1286169,098 (4.22)29
A tale inspired by the historic Tri-State tornado of 1925 follows the experiences of businessman Paul Graves and his family, who throughout a year after the storm watch their community struggle to rebuild and who miscalculate growing resentment about the twist of fate that left their home and business untouched.… (altro)
Utente:VintageReader
Titolo:Falling to Earth
Autori:Kate Southwood (Autore)
Info:Europa Editions (2013), 272 pages
Collezioni:Read, Da leggere
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Etichette:to-read

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Falling to Earth di Kate Southwood

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This book is beautifully written and tells Ms Southwood's sad and melancholy story so very well. The book is based on the true-life happening of the Tri-State Tornado which occurred on March 18, 1925. The people in Marah, Illinois are going about their business that day and doing their regular daily tasks of a noel mid-week day. Children are in school. People are at work. Wives are at home looking after the house and the children that are not in school. Yes, the sky does look very dark, but no warnings of any kind have come by the radio or the papers. Then, all of a sudden, they see a tremendous wind and hear a huge noise with a big black cloud coming straight at them. Mae, her mother-in-law Lavinia and Mae's three children run to the storm cellar that her husband had built. Paul, Mae's husband, is at his business which is a lumber yard in downtown Marah, when he sees the big storm coming. He is outside and grabs onto a pole while the wind tries its best to whip him away. He hangs on, and although he's covered in mud and dirt, he's ok. When he looks back his business is still there too. The devastation that this storm leaves in its wake almost decimates the town. Paul Graves and his family are ok. Everyone on the family is safe and their home and business are still standing. Over 200 bodies were buried in Marah after that storm. Lots of them were children who were caught in the school when the storm hit. The book goes on to describe the process of rebuilding the town as well as the emotional and physical problems that all survivors were faced with in the aftermath. Displaced people who are mourning family members and/or the loss of their homes start to look around and wonder how one family came through unscathed. Paul and his family end up taking the blame and feeling the hate and envy of their friends and neighbours while they are trying to find some sense in what has happened to them. The book goes on to describe the toll this has on Paul's family and the terrible consequences they face. This is an unforgettable story of survivor's guilt and the long-term affects from a devastating natural disaster told in such heartbreakingly beautiful prose. I did find the book to be unbearably unrelenting in its portrayal of unendurable sorrow and suffering. I knew that going in, but I didn't realize the toll that it would have on me and on my enjoyment of the story. I do need to read something more uplifting now for sure. The book is definitely worth a read. ( )
  Romonko | Oct 24, 2020 |
If I could give this beautiful novel six stars, I would do so. It's not that I think it will become a classic, but rarely has a novel so moved me. Set in a small Illinois town in 1925, this is the story of one family's experiences in the aftermath of a horrendous tornado. Paul and Mae, their three children, and Paul's mother Lavinia, are the only ones in town left unscathed by the storm. None of them was killed (or even injured!), their house is intact, and Paul's lumber business was completely unharmed. How the town and they themselves respond to this trick of fate provides the vehicle for Southwood's exquisite exploration of grief, mourning, and terrible rage in the face of death's incomprehensible capriciousness. Faith is lost or strengthened, homes and farms rebuilt or abandoned. And the impact of our need to blame, to scapegoat someone, is exposed in its raw humanity. Southwood's characters became real for me in the manner of the best fictional characters. And the landscape of the town, the sights and sounds and smells of the rural midwest, are integrated into the narrative with perfect pitch.

Full disclosure: Kate Southwood was a friend of mine back in the late 1980s. We drank Irish whiskey together, discussing the state of the world deep into the evening with our group of friends. So I approached her novel with some trepidation. What if I hated it? Could I be objective? I can't fully answer the second question but I can say with deep honesty that, as I read the novel, I forgot that I knew the author. I didn't hear Kate's voice in the narrative and, though I certainly knew she was intelligent and interesting, I had no idea back then that she had something like this novel inside her, waiting to come out. I can, with a firm commitment to transparency and faith to the art of reading, recommend this novel enthusiastically and without reservation. ( )
11 vota EBT1002 | Dec 20, 2013 |
The town of Marah, Illinois bears the distinction of having survived the worst tornado ever recorded on March 18, 1925. As chance would have it, Paul Graves and his family are the only people in the town left untouched by the disaster. Southwood’s story focuses on the town’s reconstruction efforts and the growing resentment felt by the survivors for the Graves family’s luck. A fine psychological novel that blends historical fiction and domestic detail.
  vplprl | Nov 15, 2013 |
This is a quiet masterpiece that's going to follow me around for a while, maybe for the rest of my life. It is about how a small town and then a family in a small town are destroyed by the aftermath of a deadly tornado. Note I say, the aftermath and not the storm itself. In the worst disasters it seems, there is radiation even when there isn't radiation. In this case it's big giant fuck you rays that permeate the flesh and spirit of the sole family that loses nothing and nobody in the storm.
My mother was Illinois enough that I thought Chicago had an 'a' on the end of it well into elementary school. She always said small towns can be mean little places if they turn on you. And they don't let up until they get what they think you owe them. This is very well covered in this book without a single wasted word. It also captured perfectly that exotic midwestern thing where speech can become so eloquent and beautiful while hardly being used. This book is an exquisite lone tree. This book is the next summer's fireweed after a bad burn. ( )
  dmarsh451 | Oct 12, 2013 |
Crafted within a historical backdrop, this stunning debut literary novel explores a small town's mushrooming unbridled bitterness toward the one family left unscathed by a devastating unseasonable tornado. Psychologically astute and emotionally profound, this literary gem ends sadly with a tragically painful outcome. ( )
  saratoga99 | Jun 26, 2013 |
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A tale inspired by the historic Tri-State tornado of 1925 follows the experiences of businessman Paul Graves and his family, who throughout a year after the storm watch their community struggle to rebuild and who miscalculate growing resentment about the twist of fate that left their home and business untouched.

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Kate Southwood è un Autore di LibraryThing, un autore che cataloga la sua biblioteca personale su LibraryThing.

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