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Strange as this weather has been : a novel
Ann Pancake
Adult Fiction PANCAKE

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From Publishers' Weekly:

A hard-living Appalachian family weathers a contemporary coal boom in the debut from West Virginia native Pancake. Soon after their first meeting in the 1980s, college freshman Lace See and 15-year-old local boy James Makepeace Turrell ("Jimmy Make") conceive their first child. Nearly 20 years later, Lace is uneasily settled as a mother to Jimmy's four children as a flurry of strip mining and clear cutting make the mountains she has known since childhood unrecognizable. One summer right after a strip-mining induced flood, things come to a head. Lace's environmental activism ramps up; daughter Bant, working at a local motel, discovers her allegiance to the mountains and her sexuality; each of Lace and Jimmy's three sons (Corey, Jimmy and Dane) is touched in turn by the collapsing economy and environment. Lush descriptions of the landscape are matched with a hurtling stream-of-consciousness narration to great effect: one doubts neither the characters' voices nor their places in a very complex poverty. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Based on interviews pertaining to actual events, this stirring debut novel centers on one family in a West Virginia coal mining town, the senseless destruction of their land by strip mining, and the cover-up of the illegal dumping of hazardous waste. College dropout Lace marries Jimmy Make, who eventually goes to work in the mines. They have four children whom they struggle to support after Jimmy is injured in a mining accident. After a flash flood threatens her family and in the end destroys homes and kills some of her neighbors, Lace becomes politically active and demonstrates against the coal industry. Having learned from her mother how to live off the land, she discovers to her dismay that their land is now contaminated; the once viable natural surroundings of her childhood have become a hazardous setting that eventually kills one of her children, wrecks her family, and squeezes the spirit out of an entire culture. Through the simple eyes of Lace and her endearing children, this skillfully written book presents critical moral and economic concerns. Championing the protection of our environment, it will shake up readers to action and make them aware that "what we're doing to this land is not only murder-it is suicide." Essential reading.-David A. Berona, Plymouth State Univ., NH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Lace See
Has four children; disappointed to see her childhood mountains being turned into strip mining; joins the fight against the minnig companies.

Jasmes Makepeace Turrell
Lace's husband; has four children.

Age: 15
James and Lace's daughter; works at motel; becomes involved with a young miner

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