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What Storm, What Thunder

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At the end of a long, sweltering day, as markets and businesses begin to close for the evening, an earthquake of 7.0 magnitude shakes the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince. Award-winning author Myriam J. A. Chancy masterfully charts the inner lives of the characters affected by the disaster—Richard, an expat and wealthy water-bottling executive with a secret daughter; the d At the end of a long, sweltering day, as markets and businesses begin to close for the evening, an earthquake of 7.0 magnitude shakes the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince. Award-winning author Myriam J. A. Chancy masterfully charts the inner lives of the characters affected by the disaster—Richard, an expat and wealthy water-bottling executive with a secret daughter; the daughter, Anne, an architect who drafts affordable housing structures for a global NGO; a small-time drug trafficker, Leopold, who pines for a beautiful call girl; Sonia and her business partner, Dieudonné, who are followed by a man they believe is the vodou spirit of death; Didier, an emigrant musician who drives a taxi in Boston; Sara, a mother haunted by the ghosts of her children in an IDP camp; her husband, Olivier, an accountant forced to abandon the wife he loves; their son, Jonas, who haunts them both; and Ma Lou, the old woman selling produce in the market who remembers them all. Artfully weaving together these lives, witness is given to the desolation wreaked by nature and by man. Brilliantly crafted, fiercely imagined, and deeply haunting, What Storm, What Thunder is a singular, stunning record, a reckoning of the heartbreaking trauma of disaster, and—at the same time—an unforgettable testimony to the tenacity of the human spirit.


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At the end of a long, sweltering day, as markets and businesses begin to close for the evening, an earthquake of 7.0 magnitude shakes the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince. Award-winning author Myriam J. A. Chancy masterfully charts the inner lives of the characters affected by the disaster—Richard, an expat and wealthy water-bottling executive with a secret daughter; the d At the end of a long, sweltering day, as markets and businesses begin to close for the evening, an earthquake of 7.0 magnitude shakes the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince. Award-winning author Myriam J. A. Chancy masterfully charts the inner lives of the characters affected by the disaster—Richard, an expat and wealthy water-bottling executive with a secret daughter; the daughter, Anne, an architect who drafts affordable housing structures for a global NGO; a small-time drug trafficker, Leopold, who pines for a beautiful call girl; Sonia and her business partner, Dieudonné, who are followed by a man they believe is the vodou spirit of death; Didier, an emigrant musician who drives a taxi in Boston; Sara, a mother haunted by the ghosts of her children in an IDP camp; her husband, Olivier, an accountant forced to abandon the wife he loves; their son, Jonas, who haunts them both; and Ma Lou, the old woman selling produce in the market who remembers them all. Artfully weaving together these lives, witness is given to the desolation wreaked by nature and by man. Brilliantly crafted, fiercely imagined, and deeply haunting, What Storm, What Thunder is a singular, stunning record, a reckoning of the heartbreaking trauma of disaster, and—at the same time—an unforgettable testimony to the tenacity of the human spirit.

57 review for What Storm, What Thunder

  1. 5 out of 5

    BookOfCinz

    The author said, This novel is dedicated to the 250,000 to 300,000 individuals estimated to have perished in January 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti. When you pick up a book and this is the dedication you know you are in for an emotional, moving, tender and brutal read. That is what you are in when you pick up What Storm, What Thunder / Told from the perspectives of different characters living and working in Port-au-Prince when the earthquake of 7.0 magnitude shook. The author takes us into the The author said, This novel is dedicated to the 250,000 to 300,000 individuals estimated to have perished in January 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti. When you pick up a book and this is the dedication you know you are in for an emotional, moving, tender and brutal read. That is what you are in when you pick up What Storm, What Thunder / Told from the perspectives of different characters living and working in Port-au-Prince when the earthquake of 7.0 magnitude shook. The author takes us into the deepest part of their lives as they experience this disaster and how they try to rebuild what is left of their lives. The story is written from the POVs of over eight persons, while we hear about them, they also tell us about the other characters we’ve heard from. Myriam Chancy masterfully relates what is happen before, during and after the earthquake. I could not put down this novel. It took a whole week and a half for me to write this review because no words can describe what it is like reading this book. I love Haiti, I love how their history impacts world history and my heart breaks for how as a country they do not get the respect they deserve. I wish I could read every piece of Haitian literature…. So here we are. When I read the blurb that this book would be written about the disastrous earthquake, I knew I had to read it. I also knew it would be a very hard read. Aside from a story in Edwidge Danticat Everything Inside I cannot remember reading about the earthquake in contemporary fiction. I was ALL for it. I also feel like nothing could prepare me for the read. I think the author did such an amazing job in telling these stories with care. It was never trauma porn. We hear from a Old vendor who works in the market, her only son who is now an expat left and never contacted her, her granddaughter who works for an NGO, a Trinidadian drug pusher, a Haitian musician living in Boston and a mother who lost all her children. We get their back story, where they were, how they ended up in Haiti… and what happens during the earthquake. A well crafted beautiful book that EVERYONE should read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    RoshReviews

    In a Nutshell: This would have been a fabulous book had I chosen to read it than hear it. In 2010, an earthquake of magnitude 7.0 hit near Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. With the epicentre just some kilometres away from the capital, multiple aftershocks, a resultant localised tsunami, and an overcrowded and impoverished country, the devastation was intense with three million people affected and at least 150000 thousand dead. Author Miriam Chancy brings us the fictional stories of various ch In a Nutshell: This would have been a fabulous book had I chosen to read it than hear it. In 2010, an earthquake of magnitude 7.0 hit near Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. With the epicentre just some kilometres away from the capital, multiple aftershocks, a resultant localised tsunami, and an overcrowded and impoverished country, the devastation was intense with three million people affected and at least 150000 thousand dead. Author Miriam Chancy brings us the fictional stories of various characters affected by this factual disaster. All the stories are written as the individual’s narrative of his/her life in general, and the impact of the earthquake on them. The characters come from various social backgrounds, lending a greater diversity to their experiences. Some narratives are in first person, the rest in third person. Some begin with the earthquake itself, some others end with the earthquake. Some are stuck in an emotional impasse from the aftermath, some others look at the future with hope, like a phoenix waiting to rise from the ashes. All the stories intersect partly in their characters. So at the start, it will take you a bit of time to know the various names, but as the links establish and re-establish themselves, the depth of the impact increases. The structuring of the book is thus impeccable. Unlike what you would imagine, it doesn’t become depressing, though there are many hard-hitting scenes. What I appreciate most is that there was no trauma porn or misery porn. There’s a greater undertone of poignancy than pessimism, a greater importance to experience than exaggeration. Even beyond the earthquake, the book provides a great glimpse into Haitian life, culture and beliefs. Even though some of the characters are expats, their stories are interwoven strongly with their Haitian background. My favourites were the tales of Richard (a businessman dealing in water bottling, bonus points for the mention of farmer suicides in India) and Didier (a dog-loving cab driver in Boston.) Why then my lower rating? Because of the audiobook. Though the narrator was pretty good, the audio version failed me because of these reasons: 👉 Each chapter contained one character perspective, which was anywhere between 1 to 2 hours long. So taking a break in between chapters was tedious, especially if a narrative had just begun. Pausing midway broke the emotional connect and the comprehensional flow. 👉 Because of the multiple characters, it took me a bit of time to get into the narrative. The start especially felt very muddled up. 👉 Every character is voiced by the same narrator. This becomes very confusing when there is the first person narrative for a male character and you keep hearing the female voice. Having multiple narrators (one for each character), or at least having one male and one female narrator matching the gender of the characters, would have worked far better for me. All in all, I can feel that this was a great piece of writing. And I am sure it would have worked better for me had I been reading it. As an audiobook, I can only rate it a 3. As a book, it deserves at least a 4. (A more precise rating would be possible only when I actually read it.) So I’ll just mark it as a 3.5 for now. Do give it a try if you are looking for a very unusual anthology, but remember… read it. My thanks to Orange Sky Audio and NetGalley for the audio ARC of the book in exchange for an honest review. *********************** Join me on the Facebook group, Readers Forever! , for more reviews, book-related discussions and fun.

  3. 5 out of 5

    2TReads

    Absolute beauty. Chancy has done an exquisite job of rendering the soul of her characters that expressly speak to the spirit of the Haitian people, their resilience, strength, and beauty. A MUST READ!!!!! 'Douz. When something terrible happens to you, it feels like a dream at first. Not until the pain and panic settle does it seem real'– Taffia What Storm, What Thunder is a heart read. A representation of the lives of the Haitian people lost in the devastating earthquake of 2010. The care with whi Absolute beauty. Chancy has done an exquisite job of rendering the soul of her characters that expressly speak to the spirit of the Haitian people, their resilience, strength, and beauty. A MUST READ!!!!! 'Douz. When something terrible happens to you, it feels like a dream at first. Not until the pain and panic settle does it seem real'– Taffia What Storm, What Thunder is a heart read. A representation of the lives of the Haitian people lost in the devastating earthquake of 2010. The care with which Chancy crafts these characters and experiences is a beacon of the intimate bond she has with her country, her homeland; their resilience and spirituality. At the heart of this novel is connection, the connections of family, friends, and community. A connection to self and country that even when unwanted, even when too harsh, are exactly from where we draw strength. Created with tenderness, heart, reflection, knowledge, and empathy, these characters and their stories take flight from pages to mind, connecting souls to the indelible that marks our shared humanity. What Storm, What Thunder is what depth, what meaning, what beauty even in the sadness, loss, violence, and survival you get when an author is steeped in the country and people she writes. This book must be read. These stories should be cherished.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mainlinebooker

    There are some books you read that strike you at your core, opening your eyes to a situation that you sympathized with but never clearly grasped. As the saying goes, you can never truly understand unless you have been in the same shoes. Ironically this book follows the horrid earthquake of 2010, while meanwhile the citizens of Haiti have just experienced another grim deadly episode that has completely disrupted their lives and economy. I found myself head over heals with this brilliantly created There are some books you read that strike you at your core, opening your eyes to a situation that you sympathized with but never clearly grasped. As the saying goes, you can never truly understand unless you have been in the same shoes. Ironically this book follows the horrid earthquake of 2010, while meanwhile the citizens of Haiti have just experienced another grim deadly episode that has completely disrupted their lives and economy. I found myself head over heals with this brilliantly created expose of what REALLY happens to the inhabitants when disaster strikes. Told through a number of voices, its emotional power had an extraordinary effect on me through its craftsmanship , and its powerful prose depicting the agonizing shock and suffering from this calamity. Yet, not to scare you , it also shines a light on the resilience of people in times of disaster. These voices are not for the faint of heart, but they demand to be heard. I would read this heartbreaking novel again and again. If you really want to put yourselves in someone else's shoes, this book is a MUST.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Thelma

    This was a book that was very hard to read but at the same time very enlightening to learn and know what happen in Haiti, I live in a city where a lot of Haitians have come to seek refugee, and I can attest to how wonderful people they're, very dedicated, very hard working and always with a smile on their face that will make your day even brighter. What storm, what thunder show us how hard Hati had it after the earthquake, how devastating it was for the whole country, to learn each story just mad This was a book that was very hard to read but at the same time very enlightening to learn and know what happen in Haiti, I live in a city where a lot of Haitians have come to seek refugee, and I can attest to how wonderful people they're, very dedicated, very hard working and always with a smile on their face that will make your day even brighter. What storm, what thunder show us how hard Hati had it after the earthquake, how devastating it was for the whole country, to learn each story just made me cry and felt for them, for many of the refugees that feel lost and need someplace to call home, when your own home and life has been ripped apart in just a few hours. the struggle to find that center again. what I love about the way this book was written is that even we get to learn many of the stories at some point they get to interconnect and make this wonderful book even more deep and enjoyable. this doesn't mean that it will get any lighter but that will give the story even more deepness and more shape to what was happening with each situation and character. Definitely, it was not easy to read but very worth it, I feel like I can connect or understand better what was happening especially with each character. The narrations were good but I really didn't connect much with the narration, Ella Turenne did a great job but somehow I felt a little disconnected. I felt more anger than sadness while listening to the book. other than that, this was a good book, not an easy one but very enlightening something that will open your eyes to many of the situations we're living in at the present moment.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alix

    What Storm, What Thunder focuses on nine characters and how their lives are upended following a devastating earthquake in Haiti. What follows is a heartbreaking story illustrating the toll the earthquake has taken on these characters. I generally don’t like multiple POV’s which is why I didn’t rate this higher. That being said, all of the characters are connected and sometimes to find out what happened to one character, it’s vital to read another character’s POV. As with any story with multiple What Storm, What Thunder focuses on nine characters and how their lives are upended following a devastating earthquake in Haiti. What follows is a heartbreaking story illustrating the toll the earthquake has taken on these characters. I generally don’t like multiple POV’s which is why I didn’t rate this higher. That being said, all of the characters are connected and sometimes to find out what happened to one character, it’s vital to read another character’s POV. As with any story with multiple POV’s, there were some characters I connected to more so than others. Since this book deals with the aftermath of a catastrophic earthquake, you can expect a lot of death and sorrow. Reading this in light of current events in Haiti and the US made this a difficult but important read. This might not be a book you want to read in one sitting because it is quite depressing and heavy. But, it’s beautifully written and an important story that demands to be read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Fraser Simons

    This ticks a bunch of my boxes: non-linear, multi-POV, central theme. Focusing on the famous Haitian earthquake, the narrative occupies multiple characters at various points before and after the event. Some of them attempt to define what “home” means to them, in the context of being Haitian. Others identity is altered from the event, though they’re on the peripheral. A local who comes to help rebuild creates a meta context for relief efforts and fonds. All in all, it’s a much more comprehensive This ticks a bunch of my boxes: non-linear, multi-POV, central theme. Focusing on the famous Haitian earthquake, the narrative occupies multiple characters at various points before and after the event. Some of them attempt to define what “home” means to them, in the context of being Haitian. Others identity is altered from the event, though they’re on the peripheral. A local who comes to help rebuild creates a meta context for relief efforts and fonds. All in all, it’s a much more comprehensive result than a single POV, and it ranges in privilege, ethnicity, gender, etc. If you’re going to examine an event like this, this is a great way to do it. It’s compartmentalized. Not sensationalized. Respectful. Seems well researched. It’s a much better structure than, say, having a structure that is only the event unfolding and jumping from character to character to have a sort of disaster movie-esk creation. It also means that they’re all pretty much short stories, and so vary, as these are want to do. Some I found really interesting and others felt a bit lack lustre. The theme still hits, but it’s in contrast to the stories that really stand out. This is forever my issue with short stories. The nice thing about this one though, is I think it somewhat knows this and so has the through line of the event and overarching themes. I did listen to it on audio and I found the narrator to be far better than is typical. Some people complained that it’s the same narrator for everyone, so it could be confusing when it changes characters. They’re siloed to each chapter but I suppose it depends how much bandwidth you give your audiobooks. If you pay attention there is no problem. If you’re doing other things, though, I could see how that could happen. Heads up! The prose felt very natural to the narrator and also above average. Great sense of time and place. Evocative. Active. Good at choosing what is interesting and unique about the locale to communicate to the reader and dispensing with the rest. Worth your time. Even for people who don’t like the short-story-as-novel structure. There’s enough grounding everything together, and no story felt too overlong, even if I wasn’t as into it as another, that it feels like it would appeal to a wide range of readers, imo.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kip Kyburz

    First, Chancy is such a magnificent writer. Second, I believe the earthquake that hit Haiti leads to the psychic numbing that many of us feel when an atrocity is too great. There is no way to process 300,000 deaths, that is too many to make any sort of rational sense. But that is the estimated number of people lost in Haiti in 2010. Chancy begins to draw back the curtain on this tragedy by painting these souls lost back to life. A panorama of characters narrate their stories on the days leading First, Chancy is such a magnificent writer. Second, I believe the earthquake that hit Haiti leads to the psychic numbing that many of us feel when an atrocity is too great. There is no way to process 300,000 deaths, that is too many to make any sort of rational sense. But that is the estimated number of people lost in Haiti in 2010. Chancy begins to draw back the curtain on this tragedy by painting these souls lost back to life. A panorama of characters narrate their stories on the days leading up to, during, and following that day. These characters show the interconnectedness of a tight knit community that fight for each other and themselves. This is an astounding book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cayley Causey

    Growing up, my mom always told me that the "classics" of literature are still read and loved decades or centuries after they were written because they hit on themes that are common to all humanity. It's why we still read Jane Austin, Charles Dickens, and Joseph Conrad, even though their stories and settings are so different from our modern world. I am a prolific reader - I've read books that I enjoyed, that impressed me, that even stunned me. But halfway through this book, I thought for the firs Growing up, my mom always told me that the "classics" of literature are still read and loved decades or centuries after they were written because they hit on themes that are common to all humanity. It's why we still read Jane Austin, Charles Dickens, and Joseph Conrad, even though their stories and settings are so different from our modern world. I am a prolific reader - I've read books that I enjoyed, that impressed me, that even stunned me. But halfway through this book, I thought for the first time - "this book should be a classic." I could call this book a masterpiece, but that would be an understatement. The subject matter of the 2010 earthquake - the before, during, and after - is a heavy enough topic to explore on his own, but Myriam J. A. Chancy does not stop there. She pushes forward to explore loss, grief, colonialism, religion, children, sex, money, greed, family, trauma, and more subjects with unparalleled beauty. Using the voices and perspectives of different characters, she crafts a multifaceted story as she weaves the pieces together masterfully. This is a book about the earthquake - and so much more. This is a book with themes that will endure to all readers. I know this review may seem hard to believe, but I have truly never written a review like this before. I will be recommending this book to everyone.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Oh what devastation. Have mercy. Oh what horror. Have mercy. How does a body, a mind survive the destruction and aftermath? Within the pages of What Storm, What Thunder are the stories of those who survived the massive earthquake in Haiti in January, 2010 and those who did not. So much suffering, so much despair, too much, too much. Poor Jonas who only has enough money to buy one egg today for his mother, Sara, but she is to be denied even that. She has lost her children - what defined her. Oliv Oh what devastation. Have mercy. Oh what horror. Have mercy. How does a body, a mind survive the destruction and aftermath? Within the pages of What Storm, What Thunder are the stories of those who survived the massive earthquake in Haiti in January, 2010 and those who did not. So much suffering, so much despair, too much, too much. Poor Jonas who only has enough money to buy one egg today for his mother, Sara, but she is to be denied even that. She has lost her children - what defined her. Olivier, Sara’s husband, has his reasons and his part of the story -his ultimate failure is to not to himself. Sara is to be denied everything. Ma Lou tells much of the story and while her losses seem insurmountable her spirit is a guiding light for many. She remembers a son, Richard, who has surpassed his surroundings and family and left them behind - he fails - in the end he is rejoined to his beginning. Dieudonne’ smelled the disaster in the air before it came to pass. Sonia, beauty and grace, desired by many has always turned to him depending on his knowledge and certainty. Together they see the God of Death and are unable to prepare and later wonder why they were spared. Interconnected - Sonia’s sister Taffia, brother Paul and Aunt; Richard’s daughter Ann; Dieudonne’s distant cousin Leopold; Didier, living in Massachusetts driving a cab trying to play his music, not being able to contact his brother and sisters in Haiti not knowing if they survived - all their stories are told in detail. Their backstories, their relationships, their accomplishments and failures all laid out as are their deaths and survival. All told in exquisite prose describing the frailty of life, remembering that one catastrophic event, the struggle for survival and believing that the only way forward is to embrace the gods that had not harmed you. Powerful, masterfully written, reminding the reader that everyone matters, then, now, always. Thank you NetGalley and Tin House for a copy.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarah-Hope

    Myriam J. A. Chancy's What Storm, What Thunder is a novel of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The fact that Haiti is just now recovering from another, equally disastrous earthquake makes this already-poignant title even more compelling. Each chapter of the book is narrated by a different character: a market woman; a prostitute in a high-end hotel; an international business man; a young woman in a working-class family; a Haitian woman working for an NGO in Rwanda, who returns in response to the disas Myriam J. A. Chancy's What Storm, What Thunder is a novel of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The fact that Haiti is just now recovering from another, equally disastrous earthquake makes this already-poignant title even more compelling. Each chapter of the book is narrated by a different character: a market woman; a prostitute in a high-end hotel; an international business man; a young woman in a working-class family; a Haitian woman working for an NGO in Rwanda, who returns in response to the disaster; an emigree living in the U.S.; a boy who runs errands of all sorts before and after school to earn a bit of money. At first this mix of characters confuses. They're all connected in one way or another, but those connections aren't immediately clear. The counter-balance to that is the way the book becomes more and more compelling as the reader comes to see the nature of the community made up of these varied narrators. Chancy spends ample time in the voice of each narrator, letting readers become immersed in their inner and outer lives. The action is slow, but given how challenging day-to-day life is for most of these individuals, even before the earthquake, that slowness is part of an ongoing struggle that erits documentation. I strongly recommend What Storm, What Thunder given its timeliness and range of viewpoints. I received a free electronic review copy of this title from the publisher; the opinions are my own.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Star Gater

    Wow. I had to regroup after about 40 pages. The story is gripping and sad. Circulated photos of catastrophic tragedies are not able to express the individual suffering. I can only imagine. After reading this I will see the photos differently; never forgetting the raw aftermath stories told in this book. Chancy has showed every level of humanity from top to bottom. God is not finished with this world. Scenes in this story are really hard to read and wrap my thoughts around. The differences in cul Wow. I had to regroup after about 40 pages. The story is gripping and sad. Circulated photos of catastrophic tragedies are not able to express the individual suffering. I can only imagine. After reading this I will see the photos differently; never forgetting the raw aftermath stories told in this book. Chancy has showed every level of humanity from top to bottom. God is not finished with this world. Scenes in this story are really hard to read and wrap my thoughts around. The differences in culture are twofold beautiful and frightening. There is a scene with profanity, and ironically the author addresses the swearing. I actually understood the first couple expletives or how one could be pushed that far. However, there were too many expressed in a short scene, and thus a four star rating. The writing is so good, I was embarrassed for the author choosing the path that required the least amount of effort. This is one where I wanted both the audio and physical books. I had the audiobook. The narration was beautiful and spot on with the various emotions. What Storm, What Thunder is beautifully written and flows seamlessly. Thank you Netgalley for accepting my request to read and review What Storm, What Thunder. #NetGalley #MyriamJAChancy #WhatStormWhatThunder #NarratorEllaTurenne #OrangeSkyAudio #Audiobook #Haiti #Earthquake #GoodReads

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cajsa

    You don’t know what collective you belong to until your own house is on fire. In "What Storm, What Thunder", we follow a group of different, interconnected characters before, during and after the shattering earthquake in Port-au-Prince in 2010. Listening to the audiobook, I felt transported to Haiti, especially the IDP camps where we spend a considerable amount of time with the characters. In my opinion, the author skillfully balanced depicting the individual struggles with exploring broader them You don’t know what collective you belong to until your own house is on fire. In "What Storm, What Thunder", we follow a group of different, interconnected characters before, during and after the shattering earthquake in Port-au-Prince in 2010. Listening to the audiobook, I felt transported to Haiti, especially the IDP camps where we spend a considerable amount of time with the characters. In my opinion, the author skillfully balanced depicting the individual struggles with exploring broader themes of colonialism, rape culture, racism, and class. Discussions of international aid were woven organically into the story, giving the novel a depth that truly sets it apart. Aside from the well-crafted story, I kept interrupting the audiobook to note quotes. Beautiful sentences, masterfully delivered by the narrator, drew me into the heartbreaking story of a nation at the mercy of both nature and those who rule it from within and without its borders. As I mourn these characters and their livelihoods lost during the tragedies, I can only encourage you to pick this title and delve into Port au Prince and what's left of it for yourself. Thank you so much to OrangeSky Audio for providing me with the audiocopy!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Meagan Waller

    Thank you to NetGalley and OrangeSky audio for providing an advanced audiobook copy in exchange for an honest review. What Storm, What Thunder is a novel that is inspired by the devastating earthquake that shook Haiti in 2010. All of the characters are fictional, but the research that Myriam J. A. Chancy put into this work is clear by how real they all feel. Haiti before, during, and after the earthquake is recounted through interconnected stories told by a wide cast of characters; from a wealthy Thank you to NetGalley and OrangeSky audio for providing an advanced audiobook copy in exchange for an honest review. What Storm, What Thunder is a novel that is inspired by the devastating earthquake that shook Haiti in 2010. All of the characters are fictional, but the research that Myriam J. A. Chancy put into this work is clear by how real they all feel. Haiti before, during, and after the earthquake is recounted through interconnected stories told by a wide cast of characters; from a wealthy ex-pat water-bottling executive, to a small-time drug trafficker, to an emigrant musician driving a taxi in Boston, all of the characters are remembered by Ma Lou, an old woman who sells produce in the market in Haiti. While heart-wrenching, the writing is a joy to read: lyrical and striking. Each character’s backstory and connection is slowly revealed as the chapters unfold, but the reader never feels like a voyeur to the trauma. Instead, the connection to them is deep, engaging, and cathartic. The themes of family—the ones by blood and by choice, redemption, sacrifice, and fear make this a novel about so much more than an earthquake. It’s a testament to the resiliency of the human spirit. This novel is great for readers who love sweeping stories told over multiple points of view, beautiful prose, or want to read about a tragic event that should loom larger in all of our collective memories. 
 What Storm, What Thunder will stick with its readers long after they finish it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

    I read my copy of What Storm, What Thunder over the weekend and found that I don't have the words to do this book justice. Each chapter, each voice, was immersed in richly layered details that I found, not unnecessary, but overwhelming. I needed time to process each chapter, each scene, each part of the story and re-read paragraphs to get the full picture. It's a novel that not only required my full attention, but demanded and deserved it. It's much more than a tale of natural disaster but a comme I read my copy of What Storm, What Thunder over the weekend and found that I don't have the words to do this book justice. Each chapter, each voice, was immersed in richly layered details that I found, not unnecessary, but overwhelming. I needed time to process each chapter, each scene, each part of the story and re-read paragraphs to get the full picture. It's a novel that not only required my full attention, but demanded and deserved it. It's much more than a tale of natural disaster but a commentary on humanity and the unfortunate costs of starting over and the colonialism/oppression policies served in the name of international humanitarian aid or the horrors of IDP camps. Mostly, however, it's a story of monumental grief and loss, life and love, poverty and greed, and a million things in between - a glimpse into the lives of individuals coping (or not) in their own unique way after a blow of seismic proportions batters a nation already bruised. Lots of content warnings - this is not a feel good story, but it's raw and powerful and poignant. My thanks to the publisher for the complimentary digital copy via NetGalley.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Zibby Owens

    This novel is by the literature professor, author, and Guggenheim Fellow Myriam J.A. Chancy. It is the incredibly intricate and tragic tale of people trapped in the 2010 Haitian earthquake. Though the book is fiction, it is based on the author’s real-life conversations with survivors. Richly layered with characters from the whole strata of Haitian society, the novel tracks their lives from before, during, and after the quake. The effect is a deep, somber, and moving story. Something that impress This novel is by the literature professor, author, and Guggenheim Fellow Myriam J.A. Chancy. It is the incredibly intricate and tragic tale of people trapped in the 2010 Haitian earthquake. Though the book is fiction, it is based on the author’s real-life conversations with survivors. Richly layered with characters from the whole strata of Haitian society, the novel tracks their lives from before, during, and after the quake. The effect is a deep, somber, and moving story. Something that impressed me was Chancy’s devotion to her subject; it took over seven years to create a novel that reads like narrative nonfiction. The book struck me on a gut level, relating an event not unlike 9/11 in that it affected a nation of people in one shocking moment. All the worse, the death toll was between 250,000 and 300,000 people—an almost incomprehensible number. The book is an utterly unforgettable masterpiece about the humanity of survivors caught in one of the century’s worst disasters. To listen to my interview with the author, go to my podcast at: https://zibbyowens.com/transcript/myr...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lady reading365

    This is a very strong and powerful work of fiction. I listened to the audio book and found the narrator was brilliant at the female parts but I did get confused when it got to the males voices as they didn't change and i thought they were still women. I would of been 5 stars if there was a male and female narrator. This novel was inspired by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The author follows the lives of a number of people who will be affected in different ways because of the disaster. This book re This is a very strong and powerful work of fiction. I listened to the audio book and found the narrator was brilliant at the female parts but I did get confused when it got to the males voices as they didn't change and i thought they were still women. I would of been 5 stars if there was a male and female narrator. This novel was inspired by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The author follows the lives of a number of people who will be affected in different ways because of the disaster. This book really shocked me at the extend of the disaster and its wrote with such passion and really portrays how devastating disaster can be. The author creates real life characters that are both believable and that you feel a connection with. This makes it read like a non fiction book, which I always like. This book is an emotional and shocking tale that I and really am glad I read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mary G.

    I first heard of What Storm, What Thunder when it was selected as a #BOTM pick - thank you to OrangeSky Audio and Spiegel and Grau for my ALC on NetGalley! Pub date: October 5th In one sentence: This book covers the aftermath of a 7.0 earthquake in Haiti through the interwoven experiences of multiple individuals near and far from the tragedy. Some books sweep you up and away from life, and this book was one of them for me. Ella Turenne's narration is so beautiful and musical - I couldn't stop liste I first heard of What Storm, What Thunder when it was selected as a #BOTM pick - thank you to OrangeSky Audio and Spiegel and Grau for my ALC on NetGalley! Pub date: October 5th In one sentence: This book covers the aftermath of a 7.0 earthquake in Haiti through the interwoven experiences of multiple individuals near and far from the tragedy. Some books sweep you up and away from life, and this book was one of them for me. Ella Turenne's narration is so beautiful and musical - I couldn't stop listening, and I ended up finishing the audio in a little more than a day. Sometimes multiple perspectives on audio can be a bit confusing - but not this one. It's organized into longer sections (some 1-2 hours) each covering the perspective of a single character, so you don't have to worry about listening for changing voices. You DO need to hear the name of the character at the beginning of the chapter, and I suggest using the Goodreads description to get a quick idea of the character's identity at the beginning of each chapter. I enjoyed each of the stories, but Didier, a Haitian emigrant to Boston, really stuck with me. His experiences with racism and classism in the US, as well as his worries about family back home, are so poignantly written. I loved seeing all of the stories connect as I got closer to the end of the book. If you like multiple perspectives, ownvoices, and literary fiction, I highly recommend this book. My MIL loves literary fiction, and I think I'm going to gift her this one for Christmas! 4.5 stars rounded to 5.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jessi - Jessisreadingbetweenthewines

    This is a beautifully written fictional story surrounding the real devastation of the 7.0 earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010. The beginning was a little confusing but once I got a handle on who everyone was, I want was enthralled. This is one where it would be good to read the description before beginning to have a better grasp on all the characters you’ll be meeting. This was an incredible story but very emotionally draining. Hearing how people lived and the physical violence happening in the ca This is a beautifully written fictional story surrounding the real devastation of the 7.0 earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010. The beginning was a little confusing but once I got a handle on who everyone was, I want was enthralled. This is one where it would be good to read the description before beginning to have a better grasp on all the characters you’ll be meeting. This was an incredible story but very emotionally draining. Hearing how people lived and the physical violence happening in the camps after the earthquake wasn’t easy. And be aware that there is an excessive use of exploitive language that was intense and aggressive. The narrator was great but this might be easier to read than to listen to. Even though there were times I felt overwhelmed by the story I found this to be a very powerful book with well developed characters.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brita

    I requested this ARC largely based on the blurb in which Edwidge Danticat calls it “sublime.” What better endorsement could there be for a novel set in Haiti? I also loved the title, and since I was lucky enough to get a paper copy, I can also say that the cover is enormously appealing. I started the book just a couple of weeks after Haiti endured another huge earthquake, which made the descriptions that much more wrenching. The range of perspectives represented by the characters was stunning, a I requested this ARC largely based on the blurb in which Edwidge Danticat calls it “sublime.” What better endorsement could there be for a novel set in Haiti? I also loved the title, and since I was lucky enough to get a paper copy, I can also say that the cover is enormously appealing. I started the book just a couple of weeks after Haiti endured another huge earthquake, which made the descriptions that much more wrenching. The range of perspectives represented by the characters was stunning, and there was not a single voice that I found less than convincing. I can’t actually think of anything critical to say about this book. I would enthusiastically recommend it, even to those who suspect it might be “too depressing.” (As the jacket copy says, “…tenacity of the human spirit,” &c.)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kim McGee

    A horrific earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010 changes the lives of a group of people. Lyrical writing set against the violence of Mother Nature and the yearning of the Haitians for a better life and to dig their way out of this tragedy. The large cast of characters is made up of a wide cross section of people from a wealthy expat to call girl to musician to a mother living in the camps. The connective tissue is Ma Lou, an elderly woman selling produce in the market. It reminds us how fragile the A horrific earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010 changes the lives of a group of people. Lyrical writing set against the violence of Mother Nature and the yearning of the Haitians for a better life and to dig their way out of this tragedy. The large cast of characters is made up of a wide cross section of people from a wealthy expat to call girl to musician to a mother living in the camps. The connective tissue is Ma Lou, an elderly woman selling produce in the market. It reminds us how fragile the earth can be and how resilient the human spirit is in the face of disaster. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shana

    ***Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest review*** This was a solid 3.5-4 for me. The interconnected stories with the horrific Haitian earthquake as a common point was heartbreaking and effective. Though the characters are heavily influenced by the earthquake, the book as a whole doesn't read like a book about the natural disaster. While the event ties them together and leaves a strong impact, each character has a voice and story that is unique to them. Although the character ***Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest review*** This was a solid 3.5-4 for me. The interconnected stories with the horrific Haitian earthquake as a common point was heartbreaking and effective. Though the characters are heavily influenced by the earthquake, the book as a whole doesn't read like a book about the natural disaster. While the event ties them together and leaves a strong impact, each character has a voice and story that is unique to them. Although the characters were well-developed, I did find it a bit overwhelming at points because there were just so many of them.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Reta

    WHAT STORM, WHAT THUNDER by Myriam JA Chancy, narrated by Ella Turenne. We learn about what it was like for people from all walks of life who lived through the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. It was such a catastrophic event and she describes so realistically the stories of what they withstood. The characters showed resilience over the devastating situations they endured. This is a must-read! Thanks to NetGalley and OrangeSky Audio for an audio ARC for my honest review. #NetGalley, #WhatStormWhatThunder # WHAT STORM, WHAT THUNDER by Myriam JA Chancy, narrated by Ella Turenne. We learn about what it was like for people from all walks of life who lived through the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. It was such a catastrophic event and she describes so realistically the stories of what they withstood. The characters showed resilience over the devastating situations they endured. This is a must-read! Thanks to NetGalley and OrangeSky Audio for an audio ARC for my honest review. #NetGalley, #WhatStormWhatThunder #OrangeSkyAudio

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mario’s Library

    Review ✨ Rating 5 So many details and so many good voices in this book! Beautifully written and inspiring! Character driven story! Emotional! I’m impressed how author wrote characters in the book and she pulled me in this book to feel the text to feel feelings from them while reading! I’m struggling with writing this review, just because it’s hard to give comments. I don’t have enough vocabulary to express myself! Don’t skip this book, you should read this yesterday! Thank you @harpercollinsca f Review ✨ Rating 5 So many details and so many good voices in this book! Beautifully written and inspiring! Character driven story! Emotional! I’m impressed how author wrote characters in the book and she pulled me in this book to feel the text to feel feelings from them while reading! I’m struggling with writing this review, just because it’s hard to give comments. I don’t have enough vocabulary to express myself! Don’t skip this book, you should read this yesterday! Thank you @harpercollinsca for this eARC!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tasnim

    Thanks NetGalley and OrangeSky Audio for the advanced audiocopy of What Storm, What Thunder by Myriam J. A. Chancy. A story about the disastrous earthquake in Haiti and the lives of the people. Realistic and alluring story. The narration of Ella Turenne had soothing and emotional effect on the story. I just wished it had multiple narrators for the multiple characters. It would have been helpful to differentiate the characters and more engaging. Overall a good audiobook.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Fon

    Thank you NetGalley and Tin House for the ARC. *This ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. What Storm, What Thunder is a must-read tribute to the victims and survivors of the 2010 Haiti earthquake in novel form told through evocative and lyrical, yet respectful prose. Full review on Instagram @movedbyprose Thank you NetGalley and Tin House for the ARC. *This ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. What Storm, What Thunder is a must-read tribute to the victims and survivors of the 2010 Haiti earthquake in novel form told through evocative and lyrical, yet respectful prose. Full review on Instagram @movedbyprose

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Less story and more of a fictionalized "first hand account" of people in Haiti. Each chapter is very long and I had a hard time remembering the characters and how they were all entwined. It took me a lot longer to read and I often didn't really know what was happening because of the way the chapters only somewhat connected. Almost had a short story feel to it because each chapter was about 40 pages. Less story and more of a fictionalized "first hand account" of people in Haiti. Each chapter is very long and I had a hard time remembering the characters and how they were all entwined. It took me a lot longer to read and I often didn't really know what was happening because of the way the chapters only somewhat connected. Almost had a short story feel to it because each chapter was about 40 pages.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Janel

    Powerful story. I highly recommend this book. The characters were well-developed, but trying to keep them straight was a bit overwhelming at points. A character tree at the beginning of the book would be helpful to remember who is related to whom.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Abby Suzanne

    Holy monkey. The images of the men patrolling the camp (Olivier's camp) because they were tired of hearing the wailing of women and a generation of children born following violence and rape in the camps will stick with me for a long time. Holy monkey. The images of the men patrolling the camp (Olivier's camp) because they were tired of hearing the wailing of women and a generation of children born following violence and rape in the camps will stick with me for a long time.

  30. 5 out of 5

    John Caleb Grenn

  31. 4 out of 5

    alaya

  32. 5 out of 5

    Buddys_Momma

  33. 5 out of 5

    Skittles Malone

  34. 4 out of 5

    Lara B

  35. 5 out of 5

    Cecilia Margherita

  36. 4 out of 5

    Martina Primerano

  37. 5 out of 5

    Faith

  38. 4 out of 5

    David

  39. 4 out of 5

    BHP

  40. 5 out of 5

    Cathleen

  41. 5 out of 5

    iz_reads

  42. 5 out of 5

    Janice Kennedy

  43. 4 out of 5

    Maribel Perez

  44. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

  45. 4 out of 5

    Tiff

  46. 4 out of 5

    John Caleb Grenn

  47. 5 out of 5

    ReadosaurusText

  48. 4 out of 5

    Richard Derus

  49. 4 out of 5

    smalltownbookmom

  50. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette (Ms. Feisty)

  51. 4 out of 5

    Karlena

  52. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  53. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

  54. 5 out of 5

    Maureen Caupp

  55. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

  56. 4 out of 5

    Beverly

  57. 4 out of 5

    Mocha Girl

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