book review: Weather by Jenny Offill



WEATHER by Jenny Offill
Knopf, 2020


I don’t think this is a bad book at all, I want to make that clear right away.  I think Jenny Offill is a talented writer, and that she achieves everything she set out to achieve with this little book, a potent commentary on the impossibility of balancing every day domesticity with encroaching anxiety about the climate crisis.

But with that said… I didn’t particularly like it?  I mostly found this book incredibly forgettable.  It was a short, breezy read, but for whatever reason I didn’t have time to read it in a single sitting, and every time I put it down and picked it back up, I couldn’t remember where I had left off.  I had to constantly remind myself who was who – Ben, Eli, Henry, I think were their names, but even now I couldn’t tell you who was the husband, brother, and son – and there was nothing about Lizzie’s story in particular that justified to me why this was the particular story that Offill chose to tell.  I ultimately just needed a bit more from it, but I think that’s on me rather than the author.  Maybe I’ve just read a few too many navel-gazing literary novels lately for this to shine through.

You can pick up a copy of Weather here on Book Depository.

Women’s Prize 2020 reviews: Dominicana | Fleishman is in Trouble | Girl | Girl, Woman, OtherHow We Disappeared | Red at the Bone | Weather

21 thoughts on “book review: Weather by Jenny Offill

  1. I agree–just finished this one and I’m already struggling to remember it. I LOVE her writing (and her last book Dept. of Speculation is one of my faves) but this one didn’t have me feeling the same way. Great review–hopefully your Women’s Prize reads start getting better!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad I’m not alone!!! This was my first time reading her and I’d happily read her again (I’ll keep Dept. of Speculation in mind) but this book did NOTHING for me. And god I hope so too!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. At least you didn’t strongly hate this one? LOOK AT THE STRAWS WE’RE BEING FORCED TO CLUTCH AT!

    I’m still feeling cautiously optimistic about this one, but I’ll know to keep my expectations in check, and to try and read it in as few sittings as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m also curious to see whether or not you’ll agree! I definitely see why so many readers have been loving it so much, it just failed to inspire me. I didn’t, but I’ve heard so many raves about it! I’ll definitely check it out.


  3. Great review. I had a bit more enjoyment with this one while reading I think- I did manage to read it in two sittings over one day, which perhaps helped- but overall I feel much the same. Very few of the details have stuck with me even though it’s only been a couple of weeks since I read it, and I felt no emotional investment at all. Not a great start to the longlist, but hopefully there are more exciting titles in store!

    Liked by 1 person

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