The Sunday Salon: Yesterday’s Weather

The Sunday Salon:  Yesterday’s Weather by Anne Enright

I found out about this novel via People Magazine’s review section on books, some time ago.  I ordered it immediately after reading the great review and 4 out of 4 stars rating. 

I couldn’t wait to read it and had hated putting it behind the publisher-provided books and book tour books… So, again.. for me a bad case of the “expectations” for me on this book.  How do I stop that?

Now that I am reading 1-2 books per week and writing my thoughts on them, I find myself a different person… more critical of my reads and my time.  What happened to the old me that was just excited to have a new book?  I’m feeling bad about it.  I’m changing my pace, starting the next book!

So, Yesterday’s Weather.  The author, Anne Enright, is the winner of the Man Booker Prize for The Gathering.  She is definitely a talented author.  This book is a compilation of short stories.  Ms. Enright is from Ireland, so much of her English doesn’t mirror the “United States’ Version” of English, so there is a bit of a barrier there.  Each chapter is a story in and of itself.

The Review:

Title:  Yesterday’s Weather

Author:  Anne Enright

Publisher:  Grove Press, of Grove/Atlantic, Inc.

ISBN-10#: 0-8021-1874-7

ISBN-13#: 978-0-8021-1874-5

Type:  Short Stories, Fiction

Publisher’s Website:  www.groveatlantic.com

Author’s Website:  http://www.groveatlantic.com/grove/bin/wc.dll?groveproc~genauth~1603~0

This book is comprised of 29 short stories, all of them in chapter format.  Somewhere along the line, I missed understanding this, so for the first 6 chapters, I could not find the connection between the characters.  DUH!  I went back and read the “inside cover” to discover that I was on the wrong reading path and needed to re-start the book. 

I love short stories and usually devour a book that contains them.  This book, however, I had a bit more trouble with.  It’s almost as though a chapter, for me, is too short for a “short story.”   I need, for my PERSONAL TASTE, more depths to the characters and the stories.  Like, in Unaccustomed Earth, the stories were rich and just the perfect length for my taste. This book, however, the stories were too short.  Now, this may be just me.  I realize that. 

Enright does a great job in her prose and her absurdly EXCELLENT writing skills.  Her ability to describe a setting and its characters is WONDERFUL.  I just didn’t get enough of the stories I liked… and wanted to skip the stories that held no interest for me.  It’s almost as if I feel guilty about my reading or review of this book… like I need to take WAY MORE TIME and approach it with a different mind-set to fully appreciate this work. 

This book may be up so many other’s alleys.. and, this may just be me.  She, obviously, is an INCREDIBLE writer.  I just couldn’t connect with Yesterday’s Weather, for the most part.  There are some chapters, like “Until the Girl Died,” that I loved.  And, others that were just outside of my realm of understanding and taste.  But, do not let that preclude you from reading this book if you are interested in it.  This book may be your favorite!  Again, I think it’s just me.  This writer seems to have the ability to look into the psyche’s of others unlike anything I’ve ever seen.  So, give it a chance if you like short stories and interesting takes on the “norm.”

On Sher’s “One Out of Ten Scale:”

Like, Being Written,  I don’t want to give this book a rating because it’s so different from the books that I normally gravitate torwards.  This author is obviously SO TALENTED and, I’m sure it’s just me on this one.  But, in my PERSONAL opinion, which others may plainly disagree with, I have to give this book a 5.  Some chapters… a definite 8… but, overall, for me, a 5.  There are just some of the short stories that left me thinking… “what?” or “what else?”  I’m sorry Ms. Enright…. I really did look forward to this book and PAID FULL PRICE PLUS SHIPPING FOR IT.  (Oh, the guilt over the 5).

 Buy Yesterday’s Weather at Amazon.com.

 If you’ve read Yesterday’s Weather

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11 Responses to The Sunday Salon: Yesterday’s Weather

  1. Kerrie says:

    I have found that short story collections can sometimes be incredibly patchy. That seems to have been what you struck here. I love crime fiction and that makes me a bit picky in what I like. There was a time when I read a lot of short stories but I’ve fallen out of the habit.

  2. Kathy says:

    You should never feel guilty about your reviews if your being honest. It helps readers like myself decide if we want to buy the book or maybe just check it out from the library. Great review!

  3. marie says:

    It’s okay to not like a book by an acclaimed writer- don’t beat yourself up! Personally I really disliked The Gathering and I normally really enjoy Booker winners. Waddayagonnado? 🙂

  4. Sarah says:

    I think that was a great review! I have the same dilemma sometimes. Part of me hates being critical of a book, and yet there is that need to be honest in reviewing. And sometimes we just don’t connect!

  5. Sher, is this two in a row you didn’t really care for? Ugghhhh. I hope you LOVE the next book you read!

  6. Clare D says:

    I was laughing reading this – because I often feel the same. But 5 out of 10 isn’t that bad, really – and it is important to say what you think, IMO.

  7. Debbie Nance says:

    Anne Enright popped into Houston last week and I was lucky enough to get to hear her read. Mesmerizing. I have The Gathering and hope to start it soon. I’m sorry to see you weren’t wild about her short stories.

  8. yasmin says:

    Thanks for the honest review…I’m not big on short stories tho’ so I tend to shy away from these type of reads.

  9. wendyrobards says:

    I haven’t read this one (or even heard about it until I read your post today), but I *did* read The Gathering and loved it…as you say, Enright is a talented writer. I know some readers that acknowledge her talents, but hated The Gathering as the story is rather dark. Thanks for the review on this one!

    http://www.caribousmom.com

  10. Becca says:

    Your review is the first I’ve read on this book, and I wasn’t aware it was a short story collection. Although I wasn’t a big fan of The Gathering, I agree that Enright is a skilled and talented writer.

    Unaccustomed Earth is one of my favorite short story collections – hard to compare with that one, IMHO 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by Bookstack!

  11. lisamm says:

    Honesty is the best policy, right?? Even when we’re talking about a highly respected author! I’ve seen several less than wonderful reviews for THe Gathering, so.. ? Maybe she just appeals to a certain type of reader.

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