Happy Pub Day to Katie Powner and The Wind Blows in Sleeping Grass! This was one of my most anticipated novels of the year and I loved everything about it. This 'general fiction' story will appeal to a wide range of readers - no history, mystery, or romance but an outstanding tale well told.
In her trademark style, the author creates characters with great depth and humor who lead ordinary lives in small Montana towns. Pete, Wilma, and Lily live in Sleeping Grass and could easily be ignored by society: a man who drives a garbage truck, a senior citizen who's beginning to struggle with daily activities, and a reclusive woman who cultivates a beautiful garden but seldom leaves her home. They carry secrets and regrets and form an unlikely 'family.' A 'colorful' array of secondary characters add interest, wisdom and comedy.
The blowing wind in the title symbolizes challenges the characters face, and they are considerable. Content warnings include domestic abuse, financial exploitation, anger management issues, bullying, and discussion of abortion. But alongside life's trials there's references to poetry, books, ice cream, Indigenous philosophy, and many laughs, including an unforgettable scene in a restaurant kitchen on Valentine's Day night. The organic threads of faith and hope elevate this from four to five stars for me.
Every Powner novel includes animals, and they are always full of personality. This story wouldn't be the same without Pearl the pot-bellied pig or Apisi the three-legged dog. Both bring heart and humor to the plot in meaningful ways.
Thank you to Bethany House, UpLit Reads, and NetGalley for review copies of this memorable novel. I loved this book, and it's now more difficult to choose my favorite Powner book - such a wonderful problem to have.