Hey Guys! Today I’m reviewing the audiobook Heavy Weather by Normandie Fischer and narrated by Laura Jennings.
First off the audio is beautiful! It is amazing and her voice just breathes life into characters making them feel real and next to me as I’m listening. I loved how Jennings was able to evoke such strong feelings when I listened to each character’s voice. I found Hannah’s and Rita’s soothing, Matt’s and Clay’s strong, the children’s (Ty and Katie) adorable, Annie Mac’s so heartbreaking, and Jillie’s and Tatie’s funny and comforting. I really could imagine both a ten year old and four year old when Ty and Katie were speaking. The voices were outstanding! Even Roy’s was good. Jennings was able to voice a madman, murderer, abuser so well I thought he was here and I wanted to punch his face in. Just hearing him talk got me so riled up! This is excellent work and deserves a 5/5. The accents were also wonderful! Good, believable southern accents!
The story is just as wonderful. Full of heartache, break, love, and sweet moments. Lots of chapters end with suspense that just make you want to read more. Such a lovely narrative that made me cry in some moments. Truly, I did have tears in my eyes during a lot of the story. When Annie Mac would recount how Roy treated her, when other characters were contemplating her life, when some hardships fell on the other characters like with Rita and her baby. I was just sitting in my car almost bawling my eyes out!
Before I get more in depth I must warn those who are triggered by stories of abuse, especially physical and child, and racism that it plays heavily in the story. Roy is a piece of shit and boy does he have some issues.
We first meet Annie Mac as a bloody person laying in her kitchen after Hannah finds her kids outside hiding in the bushes. Hannah takes in the kids as Annie Mac is sent to the hospital. At first I was not a fan of Hannah’s husband Matt. He was very distant and almost seemed angry by the kids living at his place, while their mom was in the hospital recuperating. It was never explicitly said, but I think because Hannah and him had tried so much to have their own kids without it working out that he was afraid of getting attached to them only to have them leave once their mom was alright. At least that’s the gist I got from his character, as he became more happy with the kids and more caring and loving towards Hannah. Even asking if they could adopt a kid.
Hannah’s friends Rita and Tatie were wonderful. Both were pregnant, which got Hannah somewhat upset in her narration as she was unable to conceive of her own. I found Rita to be a sweet character that was strong throughout it all. Tatie I enjoyed her humor and Jillie (her adopted step-daughter) as the two were always hand in hand. These characters are recurring from the first book in the series. There is definitely some background I think we as readers would like to know, but since they aren’t heavily connected except for happening in the same town and having the same characters you can read Heavy Weather without any issues as I did.
It was really hard listening to this book. I’ve been a victim of abuse (not in the same way as Annie Mac), so hearing her struggle, the psychological torture Roy did on her and her kids, and just how everyone else reacted to her abuse was really hard on me. I was upset at the characters questioning why Annie Mac hadn’t stopped Roy earlier, why she had let him get this bad. It is not her fault I wanted to yell at them! Abusers strip their victims of any self-esteem and they make them reliant upon them. They act kind one day and the next they smack them back and forth. It’s hard to get out of that situation, especially when children are involved. Luckily Annie Mac was able to stand up for herself and kicked Roy out. But since the police really didn’t press any heavy charges on him he was able to walk around freely.
Throughout the story though the characters begin to understand what it is like to be a victim of abuse. They realize Annie Mac did the best for her kids, especially considering her own family disowned her at 17 for being pregnant. I was grateful that they came to the conclusion that Roy was just evil and Annie Mac did her best.
As for the Christian elements to this story. I’m not exactly sure it was a Christian novel? It is in one of those genres under Amazon. And I can see a little bit why, because they do talk about God in the story. Though more from the standpoint that most of the characters are upset with God or Christians in general. Hannah, because of her miscarriages, Rita because of what Roy did to her, Annie Mac because of her mother’s friends and for her family turning her back on her, and even Tatie somewhat. All really questioned God and what he means to them when nothing good ever happens to good people. The only two characters that had strong faith were Rita’s mother and father. They preached about how he is good and will keep them safe and give blessings. So perhaps it’s more a modern day Christian novel? There’s no prayer in the story, and a lot of questioning of faith that is left open. I think Rita resolves to go back to her faith, but Hannah and Annie Mac are very doubtful even in the end.
So then we have Roy. For people who are triggered by abuse he is not a good character to read/listen to. He just makes you mad. Real mad. I wanted to climb into this novel and shoot him in the head the whole time. But his story was important. You got to see inside the head of the abuser. Understand his thought process a little bit. Know what he was up to. Without him I think this story would be missing a lot of important details. He really upped the suspense in the suspense part of this novel.
I read in another review someone thought he had schizophrenia. He definitely does not. There are no voices in his head. No visions. He just thinks he is right and that he’s also the victim. He could have borderline personality disorder as those are some qualifications of it. The world is out to get him, everyone is out to get him/he’s owed by everyone, and he could do no wrong. It was Annie Mac who made him do things, not him. Now without sitting down and assessing him I can’t be 100% certain. But he fits in with this assessment wayyyy better than schizophrenia lol
Romance wise there is none. Besides the married couples kissing there is no real romance. Yes Annie Mac and Clay have a thing, but it’s really pushed at the end. Like last twenty minutes. It’s hinted at briefly, but I wish it had been played up more. I wanted to see them start to like each other and hang out one on one, go for a boat ride! In that aspect it’s a little cheated.
The narration from multiple points of view was excellent as well! Loved getting to know these characters and how they thought about things! I’d rate this story a 4.75/5, just because the romance was more of an afterthought but still added some depth to the story.
Now if you’re really wondering what happens with Annie Mac, Katie, and Ty here is a spoiler. They all stay together. Roy does not win in the end. He does not end up abducting Katie like he wishes. I know Clay tried to teach Ty we shouldn’t be happy when someone dies, but if anyone deserved to die it was assuredly Roy.
Overall I’d rate this a 4.75/5! And on my grading scale a 9.5/10!
If you’d like to check this out on Audible for free trial click on the link below for easy access. It’s $21.83, 1 credit with Audible account or $14.95 at a discount. If you’re more a fan of reading on your kindle it’s $4.99 or free for KU subscribers. Or listen on Audiobooks.com for a 30 day free trial. After that membership is $14.95 for one audiobook a month plus additional credits can be purchased.