Still Life with Tornado (ebook)
by A.S. King
Still Life with Tornado is a strange book, to say the least. Sarah is a sixteen year old aspiring artist living in Philadelphia with her mom and dad. She has decided not to return to school since it isn’t original, but we learn that something happened that traumatized Sarah. She spends her days wandering the streets, following a homeless man, whom she admires and claims is original. We also follow her at age 10 on vacation with her family in Mexico, where she isn’t traumatized, and isn’t aware of the pain she and her family will go through. She doesn’t see her parents’ marriage unraveling, and she’s oblivious to the severity of the abuse her mom and brother endure at the hands of her father. This is an odd read, and very, very sad, but worth it to see it through to the end.
What I liked about this book was the time switching and point of view. That could make it a little hard to follow at first, but it also made the story more engaging and the characters more complex. The point of view was mainly Sarah, either present or from the POV of her 10 year old self in Mexico. A few chapters were from her mom’s POV, and that gave insight into Sarah’s parents’ marriage, which was a major factor in Sarah’s existential crisis.
What I didn’t like about this book was that it was a little hard to follow in the beginning. I didn’t understand that she was having a breakdown, and I really wanted to know more about the problems of the story. I had to get used to the idea that the details of the plot would be revealed as time went on.
Book 4 of summer 2017!