A Big Storm Knocked It Over

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Laurie Colwin is the author of five novels Happy All the Time, Family Happiness, Goodbye Without Leaving, Shine On, Bright and Dangerous Object, and A Big Storm Knocked It Over three collections of short stories Passion and Affect, Another Marvelous Thing, and The Lone Pilgrim and two collections of essays Home Cooking and More Home Cooking She died in 1992.

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  • Paperback
  • A Big Storm Knocked It Over
  • Laurie Colwin
  • English
  • 26 February 2019
  • 9780060925468

10 thoughts on “A Big Storm Knocked It Over

  1. says:

    Laurie Colwin s books tend to be like Sofia Coppola movies heavy on atmosphere, thin on action People decry her work for its lack of a linear, fast pulsing plot But this is exactly the reason I love it A Big Storm isn t about a chain of events it s a cross section of place, time, circumstance It s about mood and reflection and the small, ordinary joys and heartbreaks that end up defining our lives As both a reader and a writer, this, to me, is plot I think it was L.M Montgomery who said that births, deaths, marriages and the like are the most interesting things in the world I heartily agree, as I suspect that Colwin would have Then too, she writes with an extraordinary sense of beauty, even when events and relationships turn painful, that infuses the entire book There s none of the graphic ugliness, horrifying tragedy or grim outlook that today s authors don t seem able to resist The real tragedy is that Colwin died so young and deprived us of decades of her astounding work.

  2. says:

    Laurie Colwin is a favorite of mine, and I return to her books again and again They are not particularly plottedpeople live their lives, and Colwin narrates the precise and idiosyncratic details of them Maybe I just find the depiction of a particular subclass of wealthy enough New Yorkers gives me a kind of nostalgia for something I never had But I love Colwin s writing, and this is my favorite of her books a simple story about a woman who has a baby I read it at least once a year.

  3. says:

    A brutally boring and excruciatingly tedious read Nothing happens in this collection of drivel It s a cross between bad chick lit and just plain crappy fiction.The neurotic heroine, Jane Louise her name just grates on the nerves , the new reigning TSTL poster girl, is filled with fake angst, surrounded by fake people and loves creating fake problems where there aren t any She s constantly asking her emotionally stunted husband if he loves her and why he married her and perhaps he should ve married someone else It s endless You get all this additional garbage about her being Jewish and he s not so maybe he got gypped somehow in the relationship Her best friend is in love with a black guy from France who is so self deprecating it s nauseating even though I think it was intended to be funny The whole race issue is thrown around here too.Jane Louise and Teddy get married, work and have a baby and that s it She works herself into a tizzy over just about anything from her bizarre friends at work to whether or not she s going to have a healthy baby but it s to the point of stupidity She enjoys nothing because she s so mired down in her pseudo angst She s alienated herself from her family as has her husband because they re oddballs And there s this creepy perv guy named Sven she works with who s always making lewd comments even when she s pregnant and it s just gross You might think this is a novel about depression but it s not, it s just a terribly put together story.This is the kind of meaningless crapola you either wish you had stopped reading after the first irritating 20 pages or that you could get the time wasted reading it back Stay away from this nasty fare unless you need something to put yourself to sleep at night.

  4. says:

    There are, to me, few authors as enormously comforting as Laurie Colwin I miss subway stops, linger while making coffee, wish for minutes in the day She may not be everyone s cup of tea, but she s certainly mine.

  5. says:

    I am certain I read this before In the I saw it in the library and realized I really wanted to have something delightful to read I read everything Laurie Colwin wrote when I was in my twenties and early thirties These were books with smart, funny, sometimes neurotic characters with big hearts, good friends, quirks I wouldn t have minded having They also had dialogue that was funny, sardonic, spot on biting and they weren t afraid to end on moments of deliciousness Life DOES have them Sometimes, novelists seem to think they ll be seen as mere fluff if their books end on such moments I needed that kind of uplift right now Virus that won t quit Exhaustion from coughing all night.This one begins where Jane Austen typically ends, with a wedding And we move on to a marriage that has moments of anxiety or uncertainty but is steeped in kindness and passion It sounds like I should have made a romance shelf But I don t think this book would fit It s heroine, Jane Louise, is too sharp tongued and convinced things will go wrong Her husband, Teddy, and best friend, Edie, keep her ground Jane Louise, but Teddy has some depressive tendencies and Edie had a family that is pretty unhealthy Colwin s books are beach books I d never hide from anyone In fact, I d recommend them, to the most serious of readers, because, well, these characters are serious characters, and if they are bit privileged, they aren t rich, and they aren t all white The men although not all are lovable and the women make me remember what it was to be newly in love.Here s an example of the generosity of Colwin s characters Jane Louise is at an editorial meeting If she looked around this table, what an amazing amount of information she had about these people, some of whom she barely knew Bob Lodge, senior editor known to Dita as Blodge , was having a lunchtime affair with a dopey young woman who looked like his ex wife when young Little Sprout had a terrible crush on Mike Church, head of the sales department, and so on At meetings and on crowded buses, Jane Louise always had the same thought Each of these people was born with a personality and a family history and a set of unique feelings that they were truly entitled, for better or words, to express whenever they felt like it What I realize as I type this is that without the context of Jane Louise s rants against some of these people, this seems treacly But it illustrates her deep wish to be empathiceven though it s a struggle to arrive there Jane Louise is eating with this rather enormous and crass writer Hugh Oswald Murphy His enormous head sat between two immense shoulders You felt that had he beed stripped of flesh, two medium size women could have played gin rummy in his rib cage That s actually the best example of the odd and wonderful notes Colwin strikes I miss her writing.

  6. says:

    The thing about Laurie Colwin s work is this she writes great characters in interesting settings, she puts them in relationships that intrigue me, but generally she s not much for plot Usually I have no patience for stories that are short on story, but in Colwin s case, somehow things work for me She s been compared to Austen, which is a bit of a stretch Jane loved a good story arc, after all I d also compare her to Anne Tyler and in a smaller way, to Elinor Lipman A Big Storm Knocked it Over is a story about Jane Louise Parker, a woman in her late thirties who marries for the first time just before the novel opens She s a book designer for a small publisher she s got a variety of coworkers who horrify, fascinate, attract and repel her by turns There s a best friend who is a baker and cake decorator, a troubled relationship with her mother and her step father and sister And Teddy, her new husband, who loves her and who like many of us suffers from depression now and then Jane Louise is a bundle of nerves that s the story.Where s the plot, you re asking Answer there really isn t one This is a novel about the first year of the marriage, where Jane Louise struggles for footing What does it mean to be married, to love somebody, to trust them to keep loving you If she ever manages to get pregnant, can they possibly raise happy kids, having had so little happiness in their own childhoods Or maybe it was the crucible of childhood and not a very hot crucible, in her case that made them the people they are, capable of love in the first place Is it okay that she loves her friend Edie and Edie s partner Mokie better than she loves any of her blood relatives There s a lot of back and forth about the small town in the country where her husband grew up, a place she loves and fears, and the contemplation about what it would mean for her, a Jewish girl from the city, to claim such a place for her own.Now, reading over what I just wrote I know that had I not read this novel already, I would not be terribly interested in picking it up But I did, and I read it twice now and here s my conclusion I like the main character enough to overlook the lack of a plot I like her so much that I could imagine sitting with her on the porch and getting her whole life story basically what the novel provides and wanting .

  7. says:

    I don t know There was a lot I liked about this novel I liked the settings mainly an upscale publishing house in NYC and a country house in Massachusetts The characters were vivid, and I definitely related to some of them in some ways The book overall was smart and often funny But it seems to me this book was a couple drafts away from really being finished The characters were all somehow remote, as if they were all talk and no real inner life kind of a telling but not showing problem, I think , and the whole thing just didn t flow very well It was still pretty rough around the edges A few reviewers here have suggested that maybe the manuscript wasn t entirely finished before Colwin died unexpectedly, and although I haven t read her other fiction and therefore have no basis for comparison, this seems plausible to me It makes a sad situation even sadder that what could ve been a really great novel got stopped in its tracks.

  8. says:

    I recently finished Happy All the Time and loved it I just got 1 4 of the way through this one and can t bring myself to finish it Happy All the Time was hilarious Where s the humor in this one Am I missing something I generally don t mind books that are slow on the action if they have good characterizations, but Jane Louise and I agree with the reader who found her name pretentious and annoying is just whiny and dull Additionally, the dynamics of race and class here are uncomfortable, and the joke about incest didn t go over well with me I m aware that this was the author s last book, and that it was published posthumously, so I am guessing that there would have been editing had she lived to see it published And I also realize that I can t fully judge this book without having finished it But I honestly can t stomach another page.

  9. says:

    My most favorite book in which nothing really happens, but I m over the moon about the writing Laurie Colwin is my all time favorite writer.

  10. says:

    Though I don t like winter much, I do like this chapter from A Big Storm Knocked it Over, by Laurie Colwin I like it very much, and could well imagine a Christmas like this So here is the last idyllic scene of winter, as Jane Louise and her husband Teddy decide to do away with the stress and strife of holidays spent with family, and run away to Vermont for Christmas with Jane Louise s best friends, Edie and Mokie In the end they bundled into Edie and Mokie s old car and drove to Vermont, four very tall adults in a not terrible large space Mokie and Teddy sat in the front, and since the seats were pushed back to accommodate their legs, Edie and Jane Louise squashed into the corners of the car and stretched their legs out crossways Jane Louise passed around a thermos of coffee In the trunk were four pairs of ice skates, and tied to the top of the car were Teddy s cross country skis.They stayed at an inn kept by an old Swiss couple The four of them were the only guests The hostess had kept fires going in their rooms and put hot water bottles into their beds It was freezing cold.After they gulped down a few excellent sandwiches, they crawled into bed Jane Louise woke in the night to see that it was snowing The fire in the room had died down At dawn she woke up again to find herself inside a greeting card from another century Outside the snow fell straight down in large, flat flakes The room was wallpapered with a print of cabbage roses The Persian rug was faded One of the inn cats was asleep on a blue chair It was Christmas Eve and she was far away from her family.They went to breakfast They wore silk underwear, leggings, T shirts, turtlenecks, heavy sweaters, and three pairs of socks They ate dozens of muffins, piles of toast, and cups and cups of coffee with hot milkRead here

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