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Book Review: The Weather Weaver by Tamsin Mori



Synopsis:


'Tamar held up one hand, as though hailing a bus. Her purple cardigan billowed around her. She pinched her finger and thumb together, and the wind stopped…

What if you could befriend a cloud? What weather would you choose? What would happen if the weather matched itself to your mood, whether you wanted it to, or not?

11-year-old Stella has returned home to Shetland to spend the summer with Grandpa, but it’s nothing like she remembers. Grandpa is lost in his grief for Gran, the island is bleak and Stella feels lonely and trapped. That is until she encounters an old woman, Tamar, who, to Stella’s amazement, can spin rainbows and call hurricanes.


Soon Stella discovers that she too is a Weather Weaver. With the help of Nimbus, a feisty young storm cloud, Stella begins to learn the craft of weather weaving. But when Nimbus brain-fogs Grandpa and The Haken, a local sea witch, starts to close in on the island, she realises that with magic comes big responsibilities.

It will take all her heart and courage to face the coming storm…'



Review:


The Weather Weaver is not only a story about magic, but about family, priorities, and responsibility. Stella is a young girl who is taken to Shetland to live with her grieving grandpa whilst her parents go on a 6 week work-related research program, which according to Stella isn't new behaviour. Her parents are constantly working and Stella struggles to understand why work often comes before family time.


She feels abandoned by her parents once they head off and has a difficult time bonding with and consoling her Grandfather about the loss of Gran, especially as she hasn't seen him since she was 5, but throughout her journey into becoming a weather weaver she learns the strain of responsibility and manages to reconnect with her Grandfather once she is given the responsibility of saving him. Becoming a weather weaver allows Stella to finally understand the lack of control her parents have over their work and that it isn't a reflection of how much they love her.


In a similar fashion, Stella learns Grandpa's hostility and weary attitude is not personal either. The grief of a loved one, and especially one of a spouse, can have a profound effect on your mental health which can physically manifest in ways that are not reflective of you as a person or how you really feel about other people, which Stella has a hard time understanding at the beginning of the book. She tries to do her best earlier on to make him happy by doing chores and cracking jokes, but it takes her some time to realise that grief is a long process and isn't quite the same as being sad.


The weather itself becomes a big part of Stella's journey with empathy and understanding - that how we feel and how we react towards others can be reflected in the weather. That people who have a raincloud over their heads can unintentionally bring others into that cloud, and people who have a sunny disposition can uplift people with their positive energy. Stella utilises this knowledge as a weather weaver to free her grandfather from the fog and the evil witch, and as a person to be there for him as a helping hand and lend an ear. This book is fantastic for anyone who loves magic, witches, and/or is struggling with understanding the grief of others.




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