This is the follow-up novel to The Dept of Speculation, a novel that was heavily praised, but I didn’t happen to like. This one, though, I found prescient and compelling and terrifying and smart. Weather as you can imagine takes place in a kind of soon-to-be future, a sense of the dying endtimes, a looming specter, and a deepy anxiety, but also slight ironic detachment. There’s little to no plot, and the novel instead, is about a mother going about her days as she experiences both mundane and terrifying apocalyptic visions about the future of her life, mankind, and life on Earth. She’s got an adolescent son, one whose youth she often reflects back on, and a husband she feels might leave her soon, but also a husband whom she might leave soon.
The fear over the end of the world is a curious one, and of course this makes sense given how many books have been written about it. But it’s one that mirrors the journey every single person must already go through in thinking about mortality, or fail to go through by way of inaction or denial or lost opportunity. So to have the tone of this novel be the same kind of slow, sluggish resignation we get with TS Eliot’s “The Hollow Men” or Walter Tevis’s Mockingbird is about right, given the absence of an obvious apocalypse.
This novel is poignant in its ability to get right to heart of so many experiences. I wasn’t filled with dread while reading it, since I’m already a little dread filled today, so it was nice to have professional and artistic language giving name to my thoughts.
I read this book as I made copies for two-three weeks of long-term closure plans as our superintendent just announced we’d out through the end of March. Go figure. (Well, I planned it a little).