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Stormy Weather

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  1,323 Ratings  ·  219 Reviews
From Paulette Jiles comes a poignant and unforgettable story of hardship, sacrifice, and strength in a tragic time—and a desperate dream born of an undying faith in the arrival of a better day.

Oil is king of East Texas during the darkest years of the Great Depression. The Stoddard girls know no life but an itinerant one, trailing their father from town to town as he search
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Published May 8th 2007 by HarperAudio
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(showing 1-30)
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I don't want to criticize this book, really I don't! The problem for me is that it is a cute, feel-good tale of romance. Forty years ago, sure, I probably would have sopped it up.

It has humor. A pinch of history is thrown in. Details are accurate, albeit not explored in depth. It is set during the Depression and the years leading up to the Second World War. We experience the extreme drought and dust storms of Texas, discovery of oil and the exaltation that can be found in horse racing. Yet the
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
Good book. Great character development. I'm going to look into this authors other books.
Dec 04, 2008 Map rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a lovely, lovely book. Paulette Jiles beautifully evokes Depression-era America in Dustbowl Texas, witnessed through the lives of four women—a mother and her three wonderfully compelling daughters. As she illuminates the desperation of families struggling with poverty and deprivation, she also captures the bonds of community, friendship, and family that helped them through such terrible times. If you like historical fiction on an intimate, personal scale, a novel that transcends typical "wo ...more
Mar 11, 2008 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone stuggling-great for perspective!
Recommended to Mary by: Mary H.
A sort of female Grapes of Wrath, this is a story of deep, unrelenting poverty and the daily struggle for survival during the depression and dustbowl years. After a nomadic lifestyle with a hard-drinking, heavy-gambling father; Jeannie, her mother and two sisters return to their deserted, run-down ancestoral Texas ranch after his death. Jeannie, at the age of 20, takes on the challenge of scraping a life from the hard-baked earth and unrelenting drought, as she tries to figure out what her own f ...more
Rachel Walden
This is the first book in a long time that I couldn't put down and day-dreamed about almost every moment that I wasn't able to read it. Author Paulette Jiles drops you into a different time and place with wonderful, precise detail that I thoroughly enjoyed. I will also be thinking about the Texas-style romance between main characters Jeanine and Ross for some time to come--it's so restrained yet filled with the kind of just-under-the-surface passion that plants deep roots into one's imagination. ...more
Aug 04, 2011 Alisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this during lunch at my desk at work, and it held my interest quite well considering the fragmented attention it received. I wasn't excited to read another horse racing novel, but it turned out it was not this at all. It was more of a portrait of life in dusty Texas during the Great Depression. I enjoyed Jeanine and her family's persistence in carving a life out of hard times. I am puzzled by those who called this book depressing. I don't think it was, instead the lucky strikes (in oil, h ...more
Leo Robillard
Sep 23, 2011 Leo Robillard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stormy Weather is the follow-up novel to Paulette Jiles’ wildly popular and critically acclaimed first novel, Enemy Women. With it, she proves, without a doubt, that her writing has staying power.

Stormy Weather is the story of Jeanine Stoddard, her sisters, and their mother. Deserted and humiliated by their mercurial father and husband, Jack Stoddard, the women must negotiate the uncharted world of East and Central Texas during the Great Depression.

Jeanine, the middle-child, skinny and fierce,
Jun 05, 2009 Dora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I can't remember exactly but one of the quotations on the back said something to the effect of, this book is a view of the past but it is NOT sepia-toned.

I loved this book because it felt so real. The desperation of the Great Depression and dust bowl out in rural texas felt so palpable. And it was because the desperation felt so real that I completely related to their fears and anxieties. Especially how once things got better, they were so scared to let go of what th
Stormy Weather follows a family in Texas during the dust bowl. Paulette Jiles style is a little jarring at first, but I soon got used to it. It jumps from topic to topic mid-paragraph.

Life during that era was very difficult for a lot of people. It's hard to believe that that was only 70 years ago. Times have sure changed. We hear talk of "recession" now, and how hard life is. No way. We have it so well in America.

I couldn't decide whether the focus was supposed to be on the characters or the per
May 05, 2008 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
This is an easy read that has good characters and good writing. Paulette Jiles used to be a poet, and I thought most of the imagery and and over-all story-telling was very pretty--and I loved the dialogue. It is set in Texas during the Depression and involves a family of three sisters and their mother overcoming the odds and making a life for themselves on the old family farm. It's not an original story, but it gave me a good sense of what the Depression might have been like. I liked reading abo ...more
Jan 26, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was actually caught up in the strength of the young girls who did what had to be done to get through - modern-day pioneers.
This is a story that takes place in the late 1930's. A family of three girls who lose their father to a deadly gas accident while working the oil fields of Texas. I've heard stories of the Great Depression from my parents - a time that certainly tried men's soles, and then add on the Dust Bowl to the mid-westerners on top of everything else they were having to do to surviv
Sep 18, 2008 Sam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was just "okay" for me.

The fictional story takes place during the great depression. The main characters of the story is a family who moves from place to place in order to find work. The father is a drunkard who eventually dies in the book. The family then returns to Texas to the home they left earlier in the book. It talks of the hard times they endured during this period in history.

One of the reasons that the story was just "okay" is because I wasn't able to "get into" the characters.
An interesting take on the Dust Bowl, the Depression, and the state of rural Southern America leading up to WWII. I like the fact the author chose to focus primarily on the middle child of a family--not a typical choice. I was pleased with how she centered much of the story around female characters and their experiences as women, especially in times when women were at the mercy of men who had trouble finding jobs and of society, which expected them to stifle their ambitions and take care of thei ...more
Dec 02, 2008 Hayden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, historical
After the death of their worthless father, Jeanine and her sisters and mother move back to their abandoned Texas family homestead and struggle to bring it back to life. It's hard work, and they have no money, but after living the nomadic life of oil fielders all their lives, they want to make something their own.

I really enjoyed this. Jiles is a poet, and it shows in her short, evocative sentences and near total lack of dialogue. It's not at all sentimental. In fact, at times, this book reads li
Nov 08, 2008 Brenda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paulette Jiles is very detailed and descriptive in her tales of following the Texan oil strikes during the depression. I felt as though I was there. I found it interesting in that some things never change, and I could relate to her story of a family trying to survive by going where the money is -- oil strikes and horse racing. I was drawn into her story with great interest, but was quite disappointed with the ending. There is so much emotion and intensity throughout the book, but the author seem ...more
Tiffany Schomel
Dec 21, 2007 Tiffany Schomel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical fiction fans
I loved this book. She is a great author. The story of a young scrappy girl struggling through the depression era with her family to get by is gripping. I love that they are able to survive and hang on to this little race horse that brings them all together in the end.
Jul 17, 2008 Joanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who knew there were so many ways to describe dust! Despite being set in the Dust Bowl during Great Depression the characters manage to carve their own way with hope and a triumphant spirit.
Karleen Koen
Again, such a good writer.
Marla Sommer
Mar 22, 2013 Marla Sommer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in the early part of the century (last). The Stoddard sister's try and survive the dust bowl in central Texas after their father dies from "rotten oil". While their mother is part of the story she spends most of her time investing money which they don't have in a oil well. Well written, you could almost feel the dust storms.
Feb 05, 2011 Michaela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I've borrowed this book from the library many times on account of it being one of the best books I've ever read. It's beautifully written with vivid characters I can never get out of my head.
It's about family and tough times and sticking together through those times. Everybody should have this book on their reading bucket list.
May 31, 2011 Devon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started this book on Saturday and finished it Sunday evening while driving home from our cabin in TN. I really liked it. The main character really helped shape my view on how families made it through the great depression. I wish the author went into more detail about her relationship with Ross, but it was still an excellent read. I wish there were a couple more chapters!
Sep 14, 2012 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paulette Jiles is a master. I absolutely love the beauty of her writing, and the way she introduces me to new time periods and perspectives. Stormy Weather is the story of a young woman growing up during the Dust Bowl and Great Depression in the Texas oil fields. A wonderful story of hardship, determination, love of family, a race horse, and some romance to boot.
May 19, 2009 Corinne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this story of the depression and of conquering difficult circumstances. It's a great read if you need to be motivated about something, or if you're looking for something akin to Little Women- family of women fending for themselves without their breadwinner, with the scrappy tom-boy often saving the day.
Jun 27, 2009 Leighabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a story about life durning the Great Depression - they call it the "financial emergency". Life is bad 'the worst of times', but this family makes life work for them. Simply and well written. I'm almost finished and then it will be in the LSA library.
I'm also slowly reading "The Worst of Times" which is a non-fiction book about the dust bowl. It is a great companion read to this book.
Jul 09, 2014 Marge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Omigosh, I loved this book! This tale of a widowed mother and three daughters struggling to survive the dustbowl and depression of the 1930s in Texas feels so authentic. Although I was of a generation later than these protagonists, what I know of that time growing up in Texas allows me to identify strongly with this family. I hope we see many more from Paulette Jiles.
Jill Nieters
May 09, 2015 Jill Nieters rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first, this book was making me so mad with the scattered stories. But I was intrigued with the characters and wanted to know how it turned out. I'm so glad I stuck with it! The second half of the book came together and the first half made sense. I enjoyed the characters a great deal. Ended up being a great book!
Sep 28, 2010 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a richly detailed book about grinding poverty in the depression. It contains women with rich, strong characters. One can almost feel the grit of the dust between one's teeth and the heavy damp before a storm. The Texas Dust bowl of the '30's and the Texas oil industry make this historical fiction very informative and a joy to read.
Jun 28, 2014 Genna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An eloquent story of four hard-up women fighting to break even and revitalize the family ranch in the struggling oil fields of Depression-era Texas. Jiles' poetic storytelling is compelling as it seamlessly weaves history and fiction and her vibrant, carefully crafted characters are memorable.
Nov 26, 2008 Pamela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is during the depression and it amazed me how people would be so innovative in using up everything within reach. Nothing was wasted. I really enjoyed this book, she developes characters well and injects informative pieces of history at the same time.
Jan 21, 2009 Becca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book, but I kept waiting for something...more to happen. The description of life in the TX oil fields and living during the Depression was excellent, but the characters stayed a bit distant. An enjoyable read, but not outstanding.
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Paulette Jiles is an American poet and novelist. Born in Salem, Missouri, she was educated at the University of Missouri with a degree in Romance Lanugages. Jiles lives in the Texas Hill Country on a small ranch.

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“And she understood, all by herself, without reading it in a novel or hearing it on a radio program, that falling passionately in love with someone, without reservation or holding back, was good for the heart. For its valves and its arteries and that invisible shadow of the heart clled the soul. Falling in love was good for the soul.
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