Weather by Jenny Offill

Have you ever read a book that you simultaneously loved but also…didn’t? Jenny Offill’s thankfully-short book Weather was that kind of read for me.

I love the writing style and the fragmented, slightly random feel of the narrative. It felt like microblog posts. I loved it so much. It carried me along and made the book feel even shorter than its 200 or so pages.

But there’s no forward motion whatsoever, in plot or character development. Maybe that’s the point? If this is an exercise in ennui and existential dread (especially regarding climate change), it does that magnificently. But I still wanted something to happen. I don’t especially want to read a book that is basically a mood and nothing else. I have enough ennui in real life. Also, I love open endings, but this book ended so abruptly, I thought pages were missing.

I feel so torn because again, I love Jenny Offill’s writing style, but not that unsatisfied feeling I have when I finish reading her work. If I remember correctly, I felt the same way about Dept. of Speculation as I do with Weather. Is this just her shtick? Why do I feel so annoyed and want to read more of her writing?

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