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All the Wind in the World av Samantha Mabry

All the Wind in the World (utgåvan 2017)

av Samantha Mabry (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1315205,548 (3.36)3
Sarah Jac Crow and James Holt have fallen in love working in the endless fields that span a bone-dry Southwest in the near-future--a land that's a little bit magical, deeply dangerous, and bursting with secrets. To protect themselves, they've learned to work hard and--above all--keep their love hidden from the people who might use it against them. Then, just when Sarah Jac and James have settled in and begun saving money for the home they dream of near the coast, a horrible accident sends them on the run. With no choice but to start over on a new, possibly cursed ranch, the delicate balance of their lives begins to give way--and they may have to pay a frighteningly high price for their love.… (mer)
Titel:All the Wind in the World
Författare:Samantha Mabry (Författare)
Info:Algonquin Young Readers (2017), 272 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Taggar:character, driven


All the Wind in the World av Samantha Mabry


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Visar 5 av 5
Loved this one. But my copy cut off way too soon! I need the rest of it! ( )
  readingbeader | Oct 29, 2020 |
The dust jacket reveals that Samantha Mabry teaches writing and Latino literature at a community college in Dallas. All the Wind in the World is her second novel. My admiration for products of Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill remains strong after reading this interesting story.

Sara Jac and James Holt have escaped from what appears to be Chicago in a dystopian nightmare. Clues are scattered throughout the novel, indicating some catastrophe. For example, Farrah asks Sara about trees in Chicago. Maybry writes, “When I was there last, people from the cities were starting to come in and cut them down, but yeah, up until then there were lots of trees” (150). Sara had a younger sister, Lane. Mabry writes, “Lane and I had walked out of the girls’ home […] a couple of weeks earlier and were living on the street as thieves: always hungry, without home or direction. It was the most alone I’d ever felt” (184). She also writes of infrequent mail, the rarity of motor cars, lack of decent foot for the hard-working men, women, and children who harvest Maguey, a useful desert plant.

The prose is smooth and wonderfully filled with enough details to keep any reader busy through to the end. Maybry writes, “People new to this part of the country sometimes describe it as barren, but that’s just them not looking hard enough. Under the cracked surface, the fire ants swarm in a cool, dark empire. Lizards and rattlesnakes emerge from the depths to warm themselves on hot rocks for the day. The birds here—every last one of them black with oil-slick feathers—don’t fly so much as soar in perpetual circles, watching and waiting. The creatures that live out here are smart and resilient; they have good instincts, they know when to strike and when to rest. I tell myself that I should be more like them. There is a sameness here in the desert, yes, but there are also treasures” (32-33). The ranch James and Sarah work on is brutal—from the weather, the sand, the bees, and the ranch owner who is willing to hang a thief, or burn a murderer at the stake.

The ranch owner has two daughters, the youngest is Bell. Sara is trying to teach her to ride a horse. The older sister, Farrah, is ill and needs medical attention. Mabry writes, “For a moment, neither of us says anything. Farrah shifts her gaze over to the mountains and holds it there. That first time I saw [Farrah] out in the maguey fields on [her horse] Britain I thought the expression on her face could best be described as haughty, and that she looked at the landscape like a proud, puffed-up owner would. I thought she admired the desert and the terrain the same way I admired the small, collected treasures stuffed in my bandana. Now, I’m not so sure that’s right. The way she’s watching them, or looking beyond them, like she’s been waiting patiently for so long for someone or something to appear from their far side. All of a sudden, I feel uncomfortable, as if I’ve stepped into a moment that’s not mine” (150).

All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry is a peculiar story of civilization slowly disintegrating. Mabry has another novel, and I hope to get to it soon. 5 stars

--Jim, 1/9/18 ( )
  rmckeown | Jan 20, 2018 |
The bones of this book resemble other post-apocalyptic young adult stories based on environmental devastation: much of the land has been destroyed by drought and erosion; water is scarce; and fear and religious fervor dominate the zeitgeist. This book goes a bit further however by throwing in some improbable paranormal developments. It is also riddled by inconsistencies that detract from the story. In addition, the main protagonists are very unlikeable, as are most of the supporting characters.

Sarah Jacqueline Crow and James Holt ride the trains to get difficult, low-paying jobs in egregious conditions with inadequate food and water as itinerant workers cutting maguey at farms throughout the Southwest. [Maguey is a species of agave used in the production of tequila.] From the way they talk, this is the only option left for work anywhere, although clearly there is food being grown and produced, railroad cars operating and the fuel for them generated, a clothing industry, a building industry, and so on. This is just one of the gaping plot holes in the story.

We first meet them working in the maguey fields in the town of Truth or Consequences in New Mexico. They are posing as cousins instead of lovers because, as Sarah explains, any weakness or vulnerability can be exploited to lethal effect in this dog-eat-dog world. After the foreman has a fatal accident in which Sarah was tangentially involved, the two flee by train to a Texas maguey farm called "The Real Marvelous," in spite of rumors they have heard that this farm is cursed.

They begin as usual by setting up the lie that they are cousins and that they each are attracted to others in the workers’ camp. But bad things start happening, and once again, Sarah is at the center of them. This time, however, it is not at all clear they will escape.

Discussion: Although Sarah is deeply offended by the haughtiness she (wrongly) perceives in the daughters of owners of The Real Marvelous, she herself is a far worse person than those she judges. She is selfish, clingy, and worst of all, can be horrifically cruel. Furthermore, Sarah and James not only lie to everyone they meet, but to each other as well. Since Sarah is the narrator, we know a bit about what is going on in her head, but nothing about what is going on in James’s, in spite of his major role in the story. Thus much of his behavior remains inexplicable.

After a grisly ending, we still are left in the dark.

Evaluation: I didn’t find much satisfying about this gritty story with its unsavory characters and unconvincing world-building. ( )
  nbmars | Nov 27, 2017 |
The world has changed. It's harsh, dry, broken, and life for many is also harsh; they, too, are broken. Yet Sarah Jac and James have found love, even if they have to keep it secret, claiming to be cousins on the maguey farms in the southwest. They work hard to make enough money so they can head east and make their dream a reality. But something goes wrong and they must flee, ending up on another farm where rumors of magic and curses flourish. What confronts them there, is something totally new-- and just as dangerous.

This was a quick read, with an interesting view of the world in the near future. What created the conditions is only alluded to-- but certainly weather had a large piece of it. (There's even illusion to storms drowning the coast of Texas, foreshadowing of our own world's weather for this hurricane season.) The itinerant type of work done on the maguey farms reminded me of what I know of the Dust Bowl times. It's hard work cutting agave, I'm told. When the water is poison and the world is bleak, perhaps mescal and tequila provide more than escape.

PS I appreciated the author's listing of books which had influenced her for this one.

Tags: dystopian-ish, magical-realism, read, rounded-up-in-star-rating, thank-you-charleston-county-library, will-look-for-more-by-this-author, ya-lit
  bookczuk | Oct 24, 2017 |
Samantha Mabry
All the Wind in the World
Algonquin Young Readers
Hardcover, 978-1-6162-0666-6, (also available as an e-book and on Audible), 288 pgs., $17.95
October 10, 2017

With the implosion of the cities, Sarah Jac and James become jimadors, migrant workers harvesting maguey (also known as the century plant) on the ranches of the Southwestern United States in the not-too-distant future. An environmental cataclysm has devastated the country west of the Mississippi River. In conditions that put the Dust Bowl of the 1930s to shame, maguey, which produces a liquid that, “when distilled, becomes pulque, mescal, or, if you are rich, tequila as clear as a tear,” is one of the few crops still viable. Blueberries are extinct, and people literally go crazy from the heat. The jimadors are at the mercy of the ranch foremen, and a terrible accident sends Sarah Jac and James running for their lives.

The fugitives wash up at the Real Marvelous, a ranch outside Valentine, Texas, which the jimadors believe to be cursed. “There could be something wrong here, in this very dirt,” Sarah Jac thinks, and “all that wrongness might be just about to bubble up, ooze from hacked maguey, or seep skyward through the deep, dry cracks in the ground.” A couple forged in extremity, Sarah Jac and James plan to save enough money to escape to the east, “toward the ocean … and pick fruit off trees and dive into cold breaking waves.” But when one of their cons seems to work too well, Sarah Jac and James must overcome her recklessness and his temptation to survive.

All the Wind in the World, the new novel from Dallas’s Samantha Mabry, has just been longlisted for the 2017 National Book Award in Young People’s Literature. Mabry’s dystopian world, reminiscent of both John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and Claire Vaye Watkins’s Gold Fame Citrus, is steeped in the native magic of the Southwest. Darkly atmospheric, the climactic conditions inspire superstition—a regression into attempts to appease the gods, seeking a savior and a scapegoat.

Mabry creates complex characters we want to root for, and when they disappoint us the hurt is visceral. Sarah Jac and James, as well as friends and foes, prophets and witches, are no longer children. Forced to grow up too soon, their endurance requires what Sarah Jac calls “hard hearts,” because “desperate people turn, like an apple gone to rot from the inside out.” How to separate caution from paranoia when survival depends upon trust and necessary vulnerability?

“The desert … seems so simple and boring, but really it’s full of secrets,” Sarah Jac tells us. In All the Wind in the World, the desert is a character, and so is the wind, which, “when it hits the right speed, sounds like a string section playing in a minor key.” Dust storms, “hazy, rust-colored curtain[s] extending from the ground to the sky,” roar, and “plow into you, burrow into the folds of your clothing, and stick in the spaces between your teeth.” Mabry’s metaphors sing; her descriptions haunt.

Mabry’s fast-paced plot is straightforward and uncluttered, but packs plenty of twists. The immediacy of Sarah Jac’s first-person narration is powerful and absorbing. The climax is a shocking act of desperation that makes a mostly satisfying ending possible, if only for a very few. As with all things in All the Wind in the World, it’s unsentimental and complicated, and a resonant warning of possible futures without the “luxury of expectations.”

Originally published in Lone Star Literary Life. ( )
  TexasBookLover | Oct 2, 2017 |
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Sarah Jac Crow and James Holt have fallen in love working in the endless fields that span a bone-dry Southwest in the near-future--a land that's a little bit magical, deeply dangerous, and bursting with secrets. To protect themselves, they've learned to work hard and--above all--keep their love hidden from the people who might use it against them. Then, just when Sarah Jac and James have settled in and begun saving money for the home they dream of near the coast, a horrible accident sends them on the run. With no choice but to start over on a new, possibly cursed ranch, the delicate balance of their lives begins to give way--and they may have to pay a frighteningly high price for their love.

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