2020 releases · women's prize for fiction

Women’s Prize Reviews #2: Weather by Jenny Offill

weatherquoteWeatherWe continue on with our Women’s Prize journey with another book I wanted to love so desperately but did not – Weather by Jenny Offill. I was actually really looking forward to this one for a while. I’ve wanted to read Jenny Offill for ages and Weather sounded like something I would enjoy.

This is a sort of contemplative novel that follows a woman and her everyday worries and anxieties. From climate change to her brother to her son, it’s a short novel that follows musings and short scenes from the main character’s everyday life.

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This will be a rather short review since I don’t have much to say. I understand what the novel was trying to do and I think it manages to do that well. And I do think that a different kind of reader than me would enjoy this novel. But I think for this kind of stream of consciousness, navel-gazey novel to work it needs to be a lot longer. I need more time to settle in with the characters, and I need to get sort of attached to the characters. And the interesting thing is that I did enjoy Lizzie’s (I think that’s her name?) thoughts and feelings about her brother and his addiction especially, as well as her worries about her family life. So I think that if this would have been longer, I would have enjoyed it more because I would have had more time to get attached to the characters. I also feel like the whole climate change anxiety is mentioned frequently in reviews of this, but I don’t think that was as prominent in the novel, and I found Lizzie’s other worries to be much more fleshed out and relatable, even though I am someone who has massive anxiety when it comes to climate change.

And like I said, I think this was well-written, even funny and witty at times, but it just did absolutely nothing for me. I don’t think I will ever really think about this book again, which is sad, but it’s how it is.

If you want a different take on this one, I recommend Hannah’s review. If you want a similar, but better-written take, I recommend Rachel’s review.

verdict

I think this is a well-written, objectively good novel that just wasn’t for me. I am sure there are readers for it out there, but I am just not one of them.

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ALSO, I am stealing Hannah’s format and showing my current rankings of the Women’s Prize Longlist books.

standings

1. Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams (review)
2.Weather by Jenny Offill

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I would love to hear from you! Have you been reading anything from the longlist? Thoughts so far? Have you read Weather? Let me know!

In the meantime, happy reading

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24 thoughts on “Women’s Prize Reviews #2: Weather by Jenny Offill

  1. Great review! I am sorry it did not work better for you – I think this really comes down to how well the reader meshes with the style because in the end, there reaaally isn’t that much more to the book than impeccably structured sentences. I hope your next WP read will finally be a good one for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not looking forward to this one, and it’s one of the two I can’t source from either NetGalley or the library. I am contemplating trying to read it in the bookshop as I definitely don’t want to spend money on it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review and thanks for linking to mine! I totally agree that Lizzi dealing with her brother’s addiction was the strongest element – I could have gotten a lot more out of that if it had been developed a bit more.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great review! I was expecting more from this book as well. Even though I mostly enjoyed reading it, it didn’t leave a lasting impression for me either. I just had no emotional investment in any of the characters, and didn’t feel that I learned anything (other than how to make a candle from sardines) despite all the climate change hoopla. Hopefully other longlist titles will stick their landing better!

    Like

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