Things You Would Know if You Grew Up Around Here de Nancy Wayson Dinan

de Nancy Wayson Dinan - Género: English
libro gratis Things You Would Know if You Grew Up Around Here


Set during the devastating Memorial Day floods in Texas, a surreal, empathetic novel for readers of Station Eleven and The Age of Miracles.

2015. 18-year-old Boyd Montgomery returns from her grandfather's wedding to find her friend Isaac missing. Drought-ravaged central Texas has been newly inundated with rain, and flash floods across the state have begun to sweep away people, cars, and entire houses as every river breaks its banks.
In the midst of the rising waters, Boyd sets out across the ravaged back country. She is determined to rescue her missing friend, and she's not alone in her quest: her neighbor, Carla, spots Boyd's boot prints leading away from the safety of home and follows in her path. Hours later, her mother returns to find Boyd missing, and she, too, joins the search.
Boyd, Carla, and Lucy Maud know the land well. They've lived in central Texas for their entire lives. But they have no way of knowing the fissure the storm has opened along the back roads, no way of knowing what has been erased-and what has resurfaced. As they each travel through the newly unfamiliar landscape, they discover the ghosts of Texas past and present.
Haunting and timely, Things You Would Know if You Grew Up Around Here considers questions of history and empathy and brings a pre-apocalyptic landscape both foreign and familiar to shockingly vivid life.

Reseñas Varias sobre este libro

Thing I Wish I Had Known Before Reading This Book: it's a horror novel. It's a number of other things, too, and has some beautiful, evocative prose, but for anyone who strongly diss horror, the fact is that this just feels a magical realist story for a while and then takes that hard turn late in the game absolutely ruins the rest of the experience of the novel.

Here's a spoiler: The baby dies, violently and needlessly. We meet the baby toward the end of the book, when one of the main characters miraculously discovers her alive in a flood-ravaged trailer. Because of that character's special abilities, we get to know the baby not only as a pre-verbal child, but as a budding person with interests and hopes. We get to see plans for her future. We get to feel the hope her mother had for her, having died in the flooding that the baby survived. And then, after this infusion of optimism late in a surprisingly depressing narrative, we get to see the baby die. For no reason. There was already another character in the book who died, and at least two whose deaths were almost foregone conclusions during other parts of the book. To introduce a new character this way--a tiny person, saved in a heroic rescue--and then kill her seems, frankly, cruel.

There are other ways in which the book changes over its course, most notably: it starts as a story in which the main characters interact with each other but then spends the bulk of its time with its protagonists separated and observing the world around them alone. This makes it feel a different novel even just after the first 50 pages. Beyond that, the lyricism with which the author describes the landscape of the Texas wilderness, or the ways past and present meld with each other, are almost worth the price of admission. But this is, above all, a horror story, and anyone picking it up should know that going in.13 s Jonelle11

Well, to start off, I literally grew up around here, ten miles from the setting of the events.

This is a very vivid portrayal of the hill country in Texas. It is very rooted in place. I have strong memories attached to events, locations, and people either in or eerily similar to the ones this story.

This book is heartbreaking, beautiful, and very accurate to the experience of growing up in a place (and a world) that is quickly and violently disappearing.

I set the book down and cried when I was finished.6 s Kristi Lamont1,781 58


So there I was, being carried along in a half-sort of dream state, very caught up in extreme empathy and the land as character, when suddenly I had to go cope with adult life.

That was about halfway through the book. When I came back to it a few hours later, sadly, the spell was broken.

Oh, I was still digging the magical realism (or domestic fabulism, or whatever it is we're calling it this week). I've long been a fan of the idea of time always continuing to occur as it did, in a circle, and the next age comes on top of it, and the next, etc. Heck, everybody in the book could have been a spirit from the past and it would've been OK with me.

No, what broke the spell was realizing how stiltedly the characters spoke, how tortured the various storylines were, and how the backstories for the minor characters either deserved to be fleshed out--or omitted altogether. And the choices made? Ugh.

As I have told my spouse many a time over the years, I don't care if the main characters in a book or show are a werewolf dating a ghost who is stuck wearing early 1990s clothing because that is when she died, it's the characters' actions and dialogue that makes the fictive become real. I can ignore the implausibilty of a heroin addict vampire with the capacity to fall in love, but not the way people interact over the supper table.

Three stars trending downward. Worth reading if you geography as character, if you Texas, and if you're into magical realism. And, as always, kudos to someone who writes a book that can keep people engaged.

Oh, and one more thing: For some reason I went into this thinking the two younger protagonists were Black and Latinx. (Had not assigned either ethnicity with a gender, though. Hmm.) I don't know why I thought that, or why I was mildly disappointed they were not. Guess I've just read so many books set in Texas over the years, all with white protagonists, that I was hoping for a look at that state, and this particular area of the state, from a different perspective.5 s Lolly K Dandeneau1,893 246

via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/
'The old-timers say it’s not the apocalypse but the leading edge of it.'

This novel is set during the Memorial Day Floods in Texas, 2015. It begins in 2003 where we understand Boyd is a special sort of little girl, one who is ‘sensitive’, touched with a gift for knowing if not fully understanding people’s painful, emotional histories. Knowing private things most people keep sealed up tight within their hearts comes natural to the child as Boyd is “a sort of sympathetic lightning rod.” Fast forward to 2015 and the people are suffering through the fourth year of a long drought- cattle are dying, dried up lakes are having a horrible effect on the farmers, and local businesses the restaurants. Boyd is now a senior in high school, though she has been home-schooled since the 7th grade, never quite having built up an immunity to the emotional chaos and noise that comes at her. Overwhelmed by the way her gift has her processing the world and everyone in it, this solitude from others is what keeps her stable, anchored and calm. Struggling with her garden, which is failing to flourish everything else on the dry land, she can’t imagine her wish to fix the earth is about to be answered in devastating floods that will cause no end to danger, grief and upheaval.

For now, Boyd is happy to spend as much time as she can with her “more than friend” Isaac. Together, they will pan for gold at the edge of their lake in Hill Country. Feeling a deep, abiding affection and happiest together, the strain is in Isaac wanting to leave Hill Country and Boyd wanting nothing more than to stay. Lucy Maud, Boyd’s mother, s Isaac well enough but recognizes in him an ambition too similar to her husband Kevin’s. Isaac works hard for his student loans, his naked hunger to ‘transcend’ the sort of poverty his own father lives under as a teacher makes a life in Hill Country an impossibility. Medical School is the path to the life he desires, but he cannot convince Boyd to desire more, to go to college in the city close by his own University. This is stolen time, but they need to come to a decision about their future together. Both are conflicted about their special relationship, and Isaac wonders if it would be best to disentangle completely. Lucy Maud knows all too well what different dreams can lead to, estrangement from a husband and affairs with much younger women. These pains will both recede and return as the floods overtake them.

Boyd heads off to a family wedding and during the ceremony the rains hit, hard. Unable to get a hold of Isaac on the phone, it doesn’t take long to discover he is one of the missing. This will lead her on a mad, lone journey to find him where she will encounter odd people, a sort of slip in the fabric of time. Between the strange occurrences, the destructive forces of nature and Boyd’s own swirling thoughts the reader will feel as loose and unmoored as everything floating by. The land, the river, and the people of the past that were swallowed up rise to the surface in peculiar ways, and Boyd seems to get lost the deeper she goes. Things are off…

Things are off in Lucy Maud’s life too, stuck in emotions better abandoned to the past when it comes to Kevin. Intimacy is hard to break and her heart still wants the comfort of Kevin’s heat. Lucy Maud has yet to face the realities of their marriage, despite the fact he is living far from her, building a new life of his own. Aside from their conflicting emotions, something bigger is lurking. The two are soon going to have to face the panic of the possibility Boyd is in trouble, or worse. Together, they will have to try and find her.

Carla is a solitary figure deeply connected to the earth and all it’s suffering. Without a family or significant other of her own, she has bonded with Lucy Maud and her family. Her entire existence relies on avoiding the concrete of cities, the hustle and bustle too much for her, the constant progress offering the earth nothing but environmental destruction. Attuned to to others and nature, spiritual, she sees some of herself in Boyd and understands to restore balance requires sacrifice. But what or who?

There will be lives lost, washed away. The present cannot exist without the past, but how do the two tie together? What will remain after everything settles? What choices will be forced as natures reclaims what’s been taken? This novel is about love at it’s beginning and it’s end, common in the demands it makes. It is about friendships and bonds, none so ‘off’ as nature and man, how everything we do regardless of time has a domino effect on others. There isn’t a place you can live where our fellow man’s actions don’t affect the environment. It is a tale of what happens when the rivers rise, threatening some lives while taking others, and the mad race to rescue those who have clung on to hope.

There is an element of magical realism or the paranormal with Boyd, which made for an interesting read. Her gift can come at a heavy price, making a ‘normal’ life feel out of reach, and what will happen when she encounters the past seeping into the present, feeling as insidious as the river water?

Publication Date: May 19, 2020

Bloomsbury USA

2 s Laurel458 46

HOW AND WHY do you add an adorable baby who is saved from a flooded trailer and lives for 30 pages right at the end of the book and casts hope onto the end only to have the baby dropped accidentally from a tree and then IT JUST FALLS INTO THE RIVER AND DIES.This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.Show full reviewjuly-2020 3 s Elena623 69

cool-ish concept, incredibly awful prose trying comically hard to be atmospheric, and also half of the book is just restating climate stuff from the sixth extinction. i get it we're in the anthropocene. you are a novelist, have an interesting take about itgeneral-fiction3 s Lindsay Mourand75

Loved this book. So dreamy, intelligent, ethereal....
I soaked in every page and read it

truly a book to remember.

BUT CAN SOMEONE TELL ME WTF HAPPENED WITH THE BABY This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.Show full review3 s Colleen OakesAuthor 20 books1,412

Reminiscent of Barbara Kingsolver and Ann Patchett at their most natural and lyrical, TYWKIYGUAH (We're going to call it "Things" for this review) is a moving, beautifully written novel about Texas, nature and the places where those two things intersect. While the ending was perhaps fumbled a little bit - and it was hard to tell, at times what was real and what was not - the creeping deluge of a novel kept me captivated the entire way through. This is totally an underrated gem of a book. Also, there were snakes! So many snakes!

I love when adult fiction has snakes in abundance. 5 s Mallory227 11 Read

Things You Would Know If You Grew Up Around Here, Nancy Wayson Dinan’s debut, includes a complex collection of themes such as feminine power, the horrors of climate change, the destruction of land, and the power of memory. The story it tells is one that mixes fantasy with reality, anger with love, history with future, and water with earth. In a way, this book is Dinan’s eulogy to the land, a way to say goodbye to a familiar landscape that is being ravaged by the destruction of climate change. The Colorado River becomes the River Styx, and the shades that line its banks are there to bear witness to the beginning of the end. The story is a tragedy, but also a memorialization, a way to capture what has been lost, to immortalize the land she loves, and to save a history from being drowned in the flood of human error.2 s Preeti249 23

3.52021 fantasy horror ...more1 Elizabeth Roberts-ZibbelAuthor 3 books4

Interesting. I decided about 1/3 through to just give up and let the flood take me.book-by-its-cover magic-and-myth twisty-psychological-creepytown1 Bridget Sherman32 1 follower

Not what I was expecting! It’s marketed for fans of Station Eleven and The Age of Miracles, which are two books I really love, so I came in with really high expectations. I would n it more closely to Beasts of the Southern Wild or Sea of Tranquility if they really wanted a connection to Emily St. John Mandel. I still enjoyed it but I think I wanted something that felt closer thematically to the books they compared it to! 1 Jenni294 3

Things You Would Know... is a bit of an oddball of a book, and I loved it for it. As usual, I didn't read anything about it--not even the back cover--before jumping in, and ended up having a bizarre, unexpected reading experience. I still have a hard time deciding what I really thought of this... But I enjoyed it!

In this story, people who are on the threshold of saying goodbye to each other one way or another are separated by a flood of Biblical proportions. (I later learned that this is based on 2015 floods in Texas so I guess I need to look up more info on that). Boyd, a girl with an uncanny relationship to nature and empath- powers to read people, begins her journey to save a friend who she can tell is in distress, caught by the floods. While she embarks on her dream- journey on foot, pestered and aided by Texas's ghosts of past and present, her other family members go on similar journeys to look for her.

There's a lot in this novel: magical realism, environmentalism, history (I had no idea about how some of the landscape in Texas had come about), the urge to search for something better, whether it's in the form of education or striking it rich by finding a long lost treasure, and some Decameron- storytelling when our travelers rest their weary heads and listen to the stories of their hosts. There's also something scary yet beautiful in how humans are so powerless to cope with a terrifying natural event, and how there's no bribing a storm: one of the characters sighs in relief because her house is standing and thinks the storm was nothing, when families mere miles away are displaced and their homes shattered.
You might need to be in a certain mindset to read this; there were a couple times when I looked up and thought to myself, what... am I actually reading here?. After reading it, I keep on thinking back to the novel. I don't know if I truly grokked it, but I enjoyed the ride a lot.1 Anna Henderson9 3

This was EXCEPTIONAL. Great writing and I was blown away. I saw in another review, which I agree with, that the characters lacked diversity, especially considering the story is set in Texas. I loved the overarching theme of climate change. I often struggle to read books that are overtly about climate change because it overwhelms me, but I found this less stressful. The story is more horror-oriented than I expected but I would still consider it magical realism/adventure.

This is the type of book that reminds you what good writing is . I am excited to read more from this author.

The ending, which many reviewers took issues with, shows a baby dying in the floods, dropped in the rushing water right before being saved. To be honest, I was actually ok with it, it contributed to a tighter ending that makes Boyd's struggle clearer. This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.Show full review1 Mari17

This book is beautifully written almost poetically and I loved all the symbolisms in it!

A magical realism about empathy, climate change, female power, floods, treasure hunt and many other interesting texan fables and facts.

The main character is Boys, a girl in Texas who can sometimes feel other people’s emotions, even future and past events. Boyd is also somehow connected to the earth.

When she was in high school a storm on Memorial Day 2015 destroyed her town. The storm happened after a bad drought and people thought it would not pass through the Hill Country so they were not prepared. Many strange events happened as the flood got worse and Boyd looked for her lost boyfriend Issac ... and time blended with space becoming almost infinite.
1 Melanie331

I picked up this book because I thought the title sounded something a Texan would say. Imagine my delight when I found out it was actually set in Texas! It's rare for me to come across a book set locally that interests me. This novel is somewhere between magical realism and horror, and I found both very effective. The characters felt very real and flawed, Carla and Lucy Maud especially. Both of them had a pathetic quality that somehow endeared me to them, even as it frustrated me. It made them feel very vivid and human, a real person I might now. fantasy horror literary-fiction ...more1 BAM who is Beth Anne1,045 25

This book felt disconnected to me. I kept waiting for it to end and not in a good way. For a relatively short novel - this felt very very long.

I did think the atmospheric writing was well executed. But some parts of the story felt too drawn out and labored. I kept thinking this story was taking place over the course of weeks and weeks of time not just one night. It felt too slow overall.

I magical realism so I give it points for that, though nothin new here.

If your looking for this type of novel done well, read The Light Pirate 1 Krista678

Stunning and thought-provoking. A unique blend of magic realism, historical fiction, climate change activism, family drama, and girl power. I absolutely loved this book. 1 Robin783

In 2015 (IRL), over the Memorial Day Weekend, rain after drought caused the Blanco River in central Texas to rise from 5 feet to 41 feet over four hours. Nancy Wayson Dinan has created an amazing fictional account (domestic fabulism, if you will) of how that flood might have affected some people living there. The back-cover blurb by Adelia Saunders captures the story's essence: "In a myth- journey, the earth comes alive, the past breaks its bonds, and a girl who understands the deepest griefs of strangers sets out on a desperate search to save a friend." That girl, eighteen-year-old Boyd, is an amazing character, open overwhelmingly to others' thoughts and feelings. Around her are family and friends and the people and history of central Texas, along with the land and animals threatened more each day by climate change. During the flood the boundaries between time and space become very thin and even permeable. "Things you would know if you grew up around here" is used as a narrative device, providing short fact-based and opinion "columns" which break up the short chapters of the drama. Having visited Central Texas several times, I loved the references to places there as well as in Austin. And did any one else catch that the twins are named "Lucy Maud" [Montgomery] and "Louisa May (Lou)" [Alcott]?

I generally don't read others' until after I read a book, preferring to come to my own opinion. Having stopped in the middle of writing this review (wrote 1st paragraph, then last, now this one) to read the first two dozen , here are some additional thoughts: Some people categorize this as magical realism (okay) or horror. I am definitely not a horror fan and didn't read this book as such, even though it does get tense and possibly frightening in spots. And the plot point that upset a number of people seemed to me both realistically (sadly) possible and ambiguous enough to be either real or otherworldly.

[Spoilers] For anyone who recognizes (or is beginning to recognize) their own overly-empathic nature or tendency to not keep healthy boundaries, this novel can provoke thought on various levels. Boyd is coming of age and of a sense of herself as she recognizes near the end of the book: "More than anything else she wanted freedom, an existence that rode lightly on time and space, that did no harm, certainly, but was also not responsible for the harm done by others." (299) "Was it selfish to cut the ties of pain here, on the threshold of the end? Or was it survival? She didn't know. . . . she turned her mind and heart away from the things she no longer wanted to see. Who would love her when she was only composed of herself, when she was not made up of the people who surrounded her? She didn't know." (309) Food for thought . . .This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.Show full review Jacelyn2

*review contains spoilers* This was such an unpleasant read for me. To be completely honest, I'm learning that I don't really enjoy the magical realism genre, especially when it's combined with horror.

This book gave the effect of a shotgun blast; lots of characters and events flung out on to the page, with not a lot of effort to bring them all together in a cohesive story.

The writing style was poetic but it often felt overdone, and I found myself having to reread sentences to get the meaning. I started skimming heavily in the last 1/4 of the book. And I noticed several issues with consistency, eg. we're told about halfway through the book that the earth wants something from Boyd (she doesn't know what) but when the earth finally has her in its clutches (after she jumped off the cliff to escape the ghosts) it cradles her gently, allows her to sleep for several hours, and then lets her go. WHY?? We'll never know.
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