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Against the Wind

3.30  ·  Rating details ·  70 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Against the Wind is an elegantly written story of relationships involving six principal characters, strands of whose lives braid together after a chance reunion among three of them. A successful environmental lawyer is forced to take himself to task when he realizes that everything about his work has betrayed his core beliefs. A high school English teacher asks her former ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Red Hen Press
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Average rating 3.30  · 
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"Against The Wind" by Jim Tilley Pub Date: 9/24/19

I enjoyed reading this novel that is set in both Canada (Montreal and Quebec) and in the US (NYC). The story is about 6 very interesting characters whose lives intertwine into this wonderful story about relationships, emotions and the strength to face past decisions. Tilley delivered a masterful and beautifully written family drama that spans about a year through this complex interwoven relationships between them.

Ralph is going through health cr
Johanna Stoberock
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate to receive an ARC of this novel, which follows multiple characters as their lives intersect over the course of a year. At the center of the story is Ralph, an environmental lawyer who, at the end of his career, seeks to overcome regrets from his youth, rekindling a romance with his high school sweetheart, and finishing a canoe trip that ended in disaster. While the novel is anchored by Ralph’s story, each character is given space to become fully formed: Lynn, the high school girl ...more
Jan 20, 2020 rated it did not like it
With an amateurish writing style and too much focus on the technicalities of wind turbines and separatist movements, I found this book difficult to read. I had to force myself to finish it. I also felt that there were too many undeveloped characters (who is Peter, again?). I could not connect with any of the main characters. I truly didn't care what happened to any of them. I also thought the ending seemed unfinished.
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
Received my copy as a Goodreads win.

Too many topics, too many characters, too many stories going on at once.

The ending was
Jose  Rodriguez
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a novel of character, among other things. I found myself quickly drawn to the main protagonists with all their strengths but even more their limitations and failures. I can’t help but think that anyone entering the “troisième âge” cannot but connect with some of the themes in the book: revisiting and confronting the distant past, all the way back to high school; who were we, who we are now, the conflicts between those time periods, but also acknowledging principles, influences, and even ...more
Eric Giroux
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed many things about this deeply felt, big-hearted debut novel. The limpid prose. The warmth, depth, and candor about matters both personal and political. The fully drawn characters, who pulse with life--in particular, Jules, whose efforts to reconcile his grandparents to their conflicted feelings about his gender are fearless and loving. Most of all, though, I appreciated the maturity of this book. There is no "razzle-dazzle"/"all eyes on me" posing here. What you get instead is so much ...more
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
It took a bit for me to get into this story but I ended up really enjoying it. the writing style is almost lyrical and very smooth. And the characters' stories weave together nicely to create an emotional journey. ...more
Abby Frucht
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. It doesn't try to be loud or fast or fancy; instead it tries, and succeeds, at being true to life. ...more
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
From the very first page, you know that the author, Jim Tilley, is a poet. While the layout of the novel is obviously prose, so many of the powerful, short sentences read like lines in an elegy.
The main characters are extremely complex and well-developed. They surprise you with their ability to shake themselves out of behavioral ruts and move on with their lives, in spite of strong connections to their past.
The author clearly knows the terrain that his characters navigate: environmentalism, Que
Len Joy
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ralph, a hard-charging, successful attorney, suffers a mild heart attack just months before a canoe trip he has planned on the River Rouge with friends whom he has not seen in forty-five years.

I thought this might be a French-Canadian version of Deliverance (another novel written by a poet) but this canoe trip is just a backdrop for the story that unfolds. A story that includes political intrigue, environmental confrontations, and parenting challenges in a society grappling with issues of gende
Judith N Moore
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This would have been a more interesting book if i knew anything about the Canadian politics and environmental issues they are undertaking. Also, the transgender dialogues were not convincing, way more issues involved were not touched upon. Those issues could have been included to make a more rounded read. However, the book is well written and has its moments of delight.
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
I'm not sure why I wanted to read this book and, having read it, can't say I am happy about it.

Too many characters (who are Peter and Dieter again? Do we even care?) especially since I ended up not really caring about any of them, even Jules, who I did like most of the book. The two female main characters irked me most of the time. They had no life or interest apart from men and they were just weak. It always seemed like there was going to be more revealed about each character but that never rea
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book wasnt a fav. The characters were flat for me, and I didn't connect at all.

Thanks to publisher and Goodreads for the win of this book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Jim Tilley’s book “Against the Wind” was a bit complex and somewhat challenging for me to follow. I reread a few pages of the book for my own clarity. Following six disparate characters added interest once I was able to understand their individual issues in light of the entire story. Tilley was able to addressing several of today’s social and political issues, sexual orientation, Canadian politics and history, environmental concerns. Not understanding Canada’s politics, but knowing that the envi ...more
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it
A story with lots of characters and lots of issues - environmentalism, Quebec separatists, transgender issues. The environmental issue, of the wind towers being built all around areas which had been unspoiled pristine wilderness and vacation spots, was my favorite part. I found the characters to be too numerous, and the author was trying to solve too many issues, so the story floated around a good bit. Ralph made his money representing big energy companies. Lynn is teaching high school English a ...more
Karishma Sinha
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Set in Canada and US, this book talks about 6 characters out of which 3 have a chance encounter and their lives are braided together.
This story is mostly about Ralph and majority of the story is told from his point of view. He touches on topics like environment and transgender parenting. A new view to remind the readers how difficult it is being a man in a culture that is judged a bit harshly.
The book takes the reader through the issues that our society faces today- family breaking up, transge
Sandra Burns
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a really, well written book.

The subject matter, was not my cup of tea. About cheating spouses, green energy, and a transgender. I liked reading about the journey, that Jules went through. A brave young man, sticking up for himself. I have a trans friend, who did that in the 1970's.

Since I do not live in, the area he is describing, it was hard to keep my interest.

The best part of the book, was the trip between the 4 old friends. I used to canoe, and camp, so it was something I could rela
Aug 14, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I couldn't make it through this writer's style more than the first chapter, even though the description sounded interesting - this is not my own copy, unlike Six Wakes, which has a very similar plot, yet I also have not read that one, just let it sit amongst my unfinished books, so I am returning this one.

I have a cat who I call Tilly. They're similar in that way. However, the book and the cat are not alike.
Sep 02, 2020 rated it liked it
This was an interesting read. I enjoy the book. I did like that the author wrote from different points of view. I liked following the characters and getting to really know a lot of them instead of one or two main characters. I also enjoyed that the book took place in Canada and the UNited States and a short view from Germany.
My issue is it felt like a lot of little plots not one big one, while most were most wrapped up but not all of them.

I won this book on goodreads, but the opinion is mine.
Jan 02, 2020 rated it liked it
I got this for free from a Goodreads giveaway. I appreciate the book and the chance to write an honest review. I seem to be the opposite of most of the reviewers here. While I didn't much care about the environmental debate, I found the characters and their stories more interesting, especially Jules. While a couple of the characters grated on my nerves, they seemed like real people with real problems. Some of the Canadian history was lost on me but I learned some things I hadn't known. ...more
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaway
I received this book as a Giveaway win.

I found the book to be at first difficult to get into as I did not have a full understanding of the geopolitical background of Canada's major cities. Within a few chapters however, I found the book both interesting and realistic in dealing with today's realities of life, family intricate functions and major environmental concerns. I do recommend this compelling read!
Dec 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked the environmental debate that was followed throughout the novel, but I found it difficult to get invested in the characters. It seemed to jump around a lot between the different storylines, and I was never rooting for one person to get something or another. I think that there was too much going on that each character and storyline could never develop to its full potential.
Susanne Cutler
Oct 21, 2019 rated it liked it
I received a free copy of this novel from Goodreads. I thought that it was ok, just ok. Though I felt it was well written I just couldn't connect with it. When it comes to the point that I just don't care about the characters, I know that this book wasn't for me. ...more
Amy Gressell
Between taking a 5-day break and losing my momentum, and way too much technical detail about wind turbines (I mean, why do we care?), this one didn't stand a chance. The dialogue was amateurish too, which didn't help. Moving on... ...more
Vanessa Perry
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Want to read
Csimplot Simplot
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book!!!
Nov 23, 2019 marked it as did-not-finish
I tried 3 times to read this book and it could not keep my interest.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a fabulous debut novel. I could not put it down. I liked the way the characters' lives braided together. I highly recommend this book. ...more
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. The writing is so smart and concise it can't be skimmed. It's a book that feels like a friend is trusting you with the truth. Not to be missed. ...more
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
Not good. The writing was all over the place. There was too much content that did not further the storyline of any of the characters. And it ended on a terrible note. Hard Pass!
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