I first encountered Howey’s writing with the incomparable Wool (which I also reviewed) so I very much looked forward to reading another of his novels. Hurricane isn’t what I expected at all, which was a disaster story of epic proportions. Instead, what I discovered was a very sweet coming of age story which focuses on the unpopular, insecure, middle child Daniel, who is more often the butt of cruel jokes (and the cruellest is perpetrated at the beginning of the novel) than he is a hero.
Daniel is also decent, loving and protective of his family, especially his little sister, Zola, and is beyond proud of his big brother, Hunter.
When Hurricane Anna tears through a quiet town “near Charleston”, in which Daniel lives, leaving behind terrible physical devastation, the inevitable rebuilding takes on emotional and psychological significance as well. Forced to emerge from the cyber-cocoon and media bubble in which they dwell, Daniel and his family rediscover not only themselves, but also each other. Along with this comes introductions to neighbours they didn’t know existed and, as they rebuild shattered houses, the foundations for solid friendships and even love is also laid.
But it’s when Daniel’s estranged father reappears suddenly that house repairs take on a whole new meaning.
This was a very different book to Howey’s last one and to what I expected. Gentle, reflective, the entire story is a metaphor for so many things. I really enjoyed it and the meanings it softly, despite having a Hurricane at its heart, imparts.