I read The Wind That Lays Waste by the Argentinian author Selva Almada with great curiosity. I wasn’t interested in the subject or characters at first, but as I read, I got lost in the story. This book explains how the life of a person can change in a few hours.
Reverend Pearson and his daughter Leni are spreading the Bible’s message in the countryside of Argentina when their car brokes down. This was a sign of God, and they find themselves in the workshop of the mechanic Gringo Brauer and his son Tapioca. Until their car is repaired, these four will know each other and will face the unbearable heat together. However, as the storm approaches, the lives of these four are about to change irrevocably.
The Wind That Lays Waste is a good book. The setting and the characters are wonderful. It will make you think for a while after finishing. Enjoy!
The Wind That Lays Waste
The Wind That Lays Waste begins in the great pause before a storm. Reverend Pearson is evangelizing across the Argentinian countryside with Leni, his teenage daughter, when their car breaks down. This act of God or fate leads them to the workshop and home of an aging mechanic called Gringo Brauer and a young boy named Tapioca. As a long day passes, curiosity and intrigue transform into an unexpected intimacy between four people: one man who believes deeply in God, morality, and his own righteousness, and another whose life experiences have only entrenched his moral relativism and mild apathy; a quietly earnest and idealistic mechanics assistant, and a restless, sceptical preachers daughter.
As tensions between these characters ebb and flow, beliefs are questioned. And allegiances are tested, until finally the growing storm breaks over the plains. Selva Almada’s exquisitely crafted debut, with its limpid and confident prose, is profound and poetic. A tactile experience of mountains, the sun, squat trees, broken cars, sweat-stained shirts, and so destroyed lives. The Wind That Lays Waste is a philosophical, beautiful, and powerfully distinctive novel. That marks the arrival in English of an author whose talent and so poise are undeniable.
Selva Almada is an Argentine writer of poetry, short stories, and novels. She expanded into nonfiction in 2014 with the book Chicas muertas.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: