A brilliant and wonderfully reviewed first novel: the story of two sisters and the man who enters both their lives.
During the worst of the prairie dust bowl of the 1930's, a young man appears out of a blizzard, and two sisters' lives are changed forever. Norma Joyce Hardy is the dark and lonely girl whose boldness and cunning prove so seductive; against her vivid, tricky personality, the beautiful and saintly Lucinda can barely hold her own. A Student of Weather traces their rivalry over decades to the century's end. In this gorgeous novel, Elizabeth Hay lays bare the lasting imprint on the human heart of physical landscape, family rivalries, and first love.
"[An] enormously moving first novel.... An unsentimental testament to resilience and mettle.... A triumphant novel." --Newsday
"[A] novel with passionate, urgent grace." --Boston Globe
"Beautiful and excited in every way-in character, and theme, setting Elizabeth Hay firmly in the company of such other writers as Margaret Atwood and Carol Shields." --New Orleans Times-Picayune
In the opening scene of this luminous story, a handsome stranger emerges out of a storm in the midst of the Prairie Dust Bowl, setting off a 30-year rivalry. A finalist for the 2000 Giller Prize, A Student of Weather demonstrates that some accidents in life are note easily forgotten. When Maurice Doves arrives at the Hardy family homestead to study its strange weather patterns, eight-year-old Norma Joyce falls madly in love with him. So does her sister, Lucinda. In painterly prose akin to that of Alice Hoffman and Isabel Allende, Hay describes Norma Joyce's journey from the Prairies of the 1930s to post-war Ottawa and New York. In this celebrated novel, Elizabeth Hay tells a dark, erotic, richly textured story of obsessive love. Narrated by stage and television actor Jennifer Overton, this audio edition of A Student of Weather lays bare an emotional landscape full of surprise and contradiction.
From the Back Cover
From some accidents of love and weather we never quite recover. At the worst of the Prairie dust bowl of the 1930s, a young man appears out of a blizzard and forever alters the lives of two sisters. There is the beautiful, fastidious Lucinda, and the tricky and tenacious Norma Joyce, at first a strange, self-possessed child, later a woman who learns something of self-forgiveness and of the redemptive nature of art. Their rivalry sets the stage for all that follows in a narrative spanning over thirty years, beginning in Saskatchewan and moving, in the decades following the war, to Ottawa and New York City. Disarming, vividly told, unforgettable, this is a story about the mistakes we make that never go away, about how the things we want to keep vanish and the things we want to lose return to haunt us.
From the Inside Flap