Archive for July, 2011

In “The Stormchasers,” author Jenna Blum explores the reconciliation between estranged twin siblings Karena and Charles and their confrontation of a terrible secret from their past.

The novel begins in 2008 with Karena receiving a phone call to pick up her twin brother Charles, who suffers from bipolar disorder, from a psychiatric hospital in Kansas. The two siblings have not seen each other in 20 years and upon her arrival at the hospital Karena discovers that Charles has lied about his condition to the doctors, has been released and has disappeared.

So starts Karena’s search for her brother in which she joins a team of stormchasers in their travels, knowing that Charles will be where the storms and tornadoes are.

I loved how Blum’s novel marvelously contrasts the storms raging in the skies to the storms within Charles and Karena as well as their relationship with each other and Karena’s romantic relationship to Kevin (one of the stormchasers she meets up with at the beginning of her search).  It really gave the reader a sense of the intense power of human relationships as well as extreme weather.

“The Stormchasers” takes the reader on a journey with Karena across the American midwest and through her own and her brother’s psyches. In the beginning, it has a wanderlust feeling about it (which would certainly describe Charles), and Karena, it seemed, was at a point in her life where she needed to find herself; her search for her brother also being her search for her own self, a self that at the beginning seems rather stagnant and stuck in time, perhaps even the past.

A perfect read for hot summer nights, particularly those where you can see and hear the storms on the horizon….

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