Barbara's Reviews > The Waiting Sky

The Waiting Sky by Lara Zielin
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Aug 08, 12

bookshelves: families, friendship, disasters, travel, alcohol, ncbla2013
Read in August, 2012

Ever since her older brother Ethan left for school, Jane McAllister has been taking care of her mother, paying the bills, cleaning the house, making excuses for her mother's mistakes. When when a drunk driving accident injures Jane and her best friend Cat, Cat gives her friend an ultimatum and insists that she must quit enabling her mother's alcoholism. Jane temporarily leaves her mother to spend the summer chasing tornadoes across the midwest with her brother and a crew called the Torbros. Ethan's crew, for whom Jane takes storm photographs, is competing against another crew trying to collect scientific information from the twisters. The author does a good job of describing the lives of Jane and Ethan, chasing after one form of disaster while avoiding another type of chaos at home. The descriptions of the storms are engaging while also showing clearly just how destructive they can be, just as Jane realizes that her mother's self-destructive path can only lead to her own disaster as well. There are some loose ends left dangling and references to Jane's mother's possible addiction to other substances that left me a bit disatisfied and detracted from my enjoyment of the book, but the book vividly describes lives gone awry and the possibility for a brighter future for Jane, if not her mother.
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