The sensibility overseeing these fine stories is curious, clever, quick, hilarious, and heartbreaking. The world contained between the covers of Strange Weather is both realistic and magical, silly and sublime, "romance and raunch. Just like real life." When a character working a desk job in a toxic chemical plant announces wistfully that "nothing's blown up," the reader completely understands her itch for disaster, for the explosion that threatens. Hagenston truly relishes the human urge for trouble that resides just next to the equally human instinct for comfort. Her liars are among the most truthful characters I've encountered in a long while.
Strange Weather is just the right title for Becky Hagenston's terrific new story collection. The characters and stories herein are changeable, unpredictable in the extreme: tender as brand-new love in one moment, mean as life the next; realistic in one story, fantastical in another. Just when you think you've got these characters and their messed-up lives pegged, they do something wonderful, or awful, or both, to utterly surprise you, and often themselves. A wonderful book.
With extraordinary with and understanding and stunning emotional accuracy, not to mention an uncanny ability to track which way the wind blows, Becky Hagenston trains a weather eye on those most unstable of fronts—human beings in their dealings with each other. Smart work from a smart writer.