Weather by Jenny Offill

Weather - Jenny Offill

Jenny Offill's second novel is written in a similar piecework style, stringing vignettes and observations together and creating a narrative that is unsettling and familiar.

 

Lizzie is a librarian at a University and used to mentally diagnosing her patrons, observing their trajectories from behind the information desk. She is married with one son who is in early grades at school. Her brother is a recovering narcotics addict and she spends a lot of time with him to help him stay on track.

 

One day an old mentor approaches Lizzie and asks for help answering e-mails for her popular climate-change podcast. As Lizzie gets more absorbed in the podcast and the fearful inquiries from its listeners, she feels her own life drifting off-course.

 

Lizzie responds to scared parents, anxious preppers, and her own family's troubles with equal amounts of wit and concern. This was really good, and could almost be read in one sitting. At times it was funny, but mostly its an honest look at some of the real fears inspired by climate change and the inevitable disaster on the horizon.