Synopsis: Annie Mac’s estranged husband, Roy, beats her to within an inch of her life and leaves her for dead when she won’t hand over their 4-yr.-old daughter.
Hannah Morgan discovers the little girl and her brother, 8, hiding in bushes outside the house soon after Roy’s pickup truck roars away. Inside the house, she discovers Annie Mac. But before emergency personnel take Annie away, she points to Hannah and makes it clear she wants Hannah to care for her children.
Having once accepted her own inability to have children, Hannah feels all the old longings stir when she takes these frightened, hurting children into her home and her life. To make matters worse, her best friend from childhood, Tadie, is expecting a baby soon, as is Rita, another old friend and the government official responsible for the children. Hannah struggles to keep her jealousy in check, while another old friend and detective, Clay, searches for Roy. The group of friends join together to protect Annie and her children. But will Clay and the police catch Roy and put him behind bars before he finds his daughter? Before he can hurt anyone else?
My Review: Readers of Southern fiction will certainly enjoy Heavy Weather. The author has drawn the characters well. Relationships between the women are especially well-crafted and believable, as Hannah and her friends deal with childlessness, infant death and the overwhelming emotions surrounding a friend’s new baby.
Roy is the despicable villain, but even he was characterized in such a way that I occasionally felt a twinge of sympathy for him. Still, the suspense kept me reading to find out whether he would find little Katie, and how he would elude Clay and the authorities.
Besides the themes of abuse, losing an infant and childlessness, the theme of friendship runs strong throughout this story. Hannah, Tadie, Rita, and even Clay pull together to protect Annie and the children. In the process, Annie learns what true friendship is, gains loyal friends, and finds personal strength in her new friendships.
I would imagine if a reader is struggling with her own issues of infertility, this book might be a bit difficult to read. But if not, I strongly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Southern and/or women’s fiction. It releases March 15, but is available now for pre-order.
And while you’re at it, check out Normandie Fischer’s other novels as well.