From the author of the critically acclaimed ‘Enemy Women’ comes a brilliant new work of fiction set against the dark days of the Great Depression.
Jeanine Stodard sees her family’s future rise with each new oil rig that emerges from the Texas hills, and fall with her father’s trips out to the dance halls and gambling joints in each new town they set up in. But when her father dies, in dubious circumstances, he leaves behind four women who have no place to go but the abandoned family farm.
Elizabeth, her father’s widow, invests the last of their money in a million-to-one shot oil well; Mayme, the eldest daughter, applies for a job at the oil company in her tattered dress and dreams of her Prince Charming; Bea, the youngest, scribbles stories in her Big Chief pad and dreams of being a writer; Jeanine, the proud, stubborn middle child, finds the threads of her life woven together of the old Tolliver homestead in surprising ways. They all share but one inheritance left them by their no-good father Jack Stoddard: a dangerous, racing stallion named Smoky Joe.
In dark and affecting prose, Paulette Jiles illuminates the hardship, sacrifice and strength of an ordinary family caught short by circumstances beyond their control.
Reviews of Stormy Weather
- Praise for ‘Enemy Women’, a Sunday Times Read of the Week and Glamour’s ‘Must Read’
- ‘I loved “Enemy Women”. It is a gritty, memorable book, full of the things I like best in a novel – a sparky heroine, an unsentimental love story, a confident retelling of the past. It is a delight from start to finish, without a single misstep.’ Tracy Chevalier, author of ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ and ‘Falling Angels’
- ‘With the eye of a poet and the rectitude of a historian, Paulette Jiles travels the backroads of the American Civil War and returns with a story that is both gripping and gorgeously rendered. Adair is destined to find a place of honour among the great heroines of modern fiction.’ Geraldine Brooks, author of ‘Years of Wonders’ and ‘March’
- ‘Remarkable…entirely deserving of the plaudits it will doubtless continue to receive here. Jiles isn’t content with merely telling us something we know already, but sets out to show us what this means, in images of startling beauty and horror.’ Christina Koning, The Times
- ‘Although “Enemy Women” is rich in historical research, it is partly Adair’s unexpected modernity that makes it so compelling, as she battles her way through war with sharp rejoinders and a waspish wit, by turns fierce, wily and pragmatic…Jiles’s epically plotted novel moves to a beat as irresistibly vernacular as its heroine’s confession.’ Hephzibah Anderson, Observer