Monday, November 5, 2012

Leaning into the Wind by Susan Allen Toth

Leaning into the Wind.  A Memoir of Midwest Weather by Susan Allen Toth

Everyone's life is affected by weather.  If you happen to live in the midwest you life through cold and snowy winters, severe storms in the Spring, hot and humid summers.  On a particular day in Minnesota the temperatures can vary over 50 degrees.  Midwest weather can be extreme and Toth does an excellent job of capturing the nuances of it.

Leaning into the Wind is a unique memoir where Toth tells her story within twelve essays. The focus of the book is her life amidst midwest weather.  Toth grew up in Ames, Iowa.  Met and married her first husband in California and then moved to Minnesota where they both had teaching positions.  She raised a daughter and remarried a architect named James Stageburg.  He designed and built her a lovely weekend house in Wisconsin.

Toth compares her turbulent first marriage to Minnesota storms in one essay.  She writes about gardening and her hatred of bugs of all sizes.  She writes about how every day, the first thing she checks in the paper, is the weather and when she mentions the daily forecast to her husband, he seems ambivalent.  She writes about weather from the different stages of her life.  She includes excellent quotes at the beginning of each essay.  She writes thoughtfully and creates a visual picture with her words about weather.  Toth will make you laugh and she will make you think about how weather has been an important part of your life.

"Weather dominates everything."
Quote by Stephen E. Ambrose, Nothing like it in the Wind. (pg. 1)