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Review: Let the Tornado Come

July 31, 2014

Let the Tornado Come

If anyone saw her, they’d think Rita Zoey Chin has a terrific life and she does, now.  Things weren’t always as they are now, though.   The happily married author had a long journey to get where she is today.

Chin’s childhood was rough.  Abused as a child and caught in the middle of her parents’ ugly divorce, she ended up on the streets, prostituting herself and using drugs.  She finally dug herself out of that hole but, even as things appeared good on the outside, she remained broken on the outside.  All that changed when she met Claret – a horse she wouldn’t give up on.

I love memoirs so I was really excited to read Let the Tornado Come by Rita Zoey Chin.  The fact that Chin is a poet is reflected in her gorgeous writing.  The writing sucked me in from the very beginning and Chin’s tragic, heartbreaking story kept me riveted throughout the book, yet I never felt fully immersed in her world.  I liked this book a great deal but would be lying if I said I loved it.

Chin tells her story in the present day with flashbacks to the past.  The present day is written in past tense while her childhood is written in the present tense and that felt a little awkward to me.  I also think the beautiful writing made me feel like I was watching from afar rather than experiencing Chin’s story.  Those two quibbles are minor, though, and didn’t keep me from enjoying this book.  If you like memoirs, you’ll want to pick up a copy of Let the Tornado Come.

Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster.   I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
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20 Comments leave one →
  1. July 31, 2014 7:47 am

    I kind of hate memoirs but I don’t know why since one could actually just pretend it is a novel….

  2. July 31, 2014 7:59 am

    The power of animals to help a person heal is amazing. I have a tough time reading memoirs about abuse but, for the right reader, I’m sure this memoir would be inspirational.

  3. July 31, 2014 8:58 am

    It does sound heartbreaking, but I fear the switching of the tenses would confuse me.

  4. July 31, 2014 10:43 am

    I’m totally captivated. I’m off to read more about this one.

  5. July 31, 2014 11:15 am

    I dont do review requests for memoirs because they are too personal and hard to review without it seeming “personal”, but I do purchase them and review as I do like reading about others lives. This one sounds interesting!

  6. July 31, 2014 11:24 am

    the couple of memoirs I’ve read I really enjoyed but I do tend to veer away from them for much the same reason as Sheila. The ones I really like typically have a happy ending so I may have to pick this one up. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Patty permalink
    July 31, 2014 11:28 am

    I wish I liked memoirs…

  8. July 31, 2014 1:20 pm

    This does sound good. I am not a huge memoir fan, but sometimes I do enjoy them–and this sounds like one I would like.

  9. July 31, 2014 1:24 pm

    This memoir sounds very compelling. Thanks for another great (and honest) review, Kathy!

  10. July 31, 2014 3:29 pm

    I love that it was a horse that helped her heal. I think the mix up of the past and present would throw me off a little, but other than that it sounds like a really good read.

  11. July 31, 2014 4:15 pm

    I’m not familiar with this woman. However, her story sounds incredibly compelling.

  12. July 31, 2014 7:06 pm

    this sounds excellent, but I may be putting a lot of stock in the fact that you said she’s a poet!

  13. July 31, 2014 9:21 pm

    I like memoirs and this one definite has potential (even though it sounds sad)

  14. July 31, 2014 9:49 pm

    This sounds like a beautifully written memoir.

  15. July 31, 2014 11:20 pm

    I’m not really drawn to memoirs about broken childhoods. This one doesn’t appeal to me although your praise of her writing has me curious.

  16. August 1, 2014 11:52 am

    I’m not much a memoir girl. I rarely love them.

  17. Beth Hoffman permalink
    August 1, 2014 4:48 pm

    I so rarely read memoirs, but I have to say you’ve piqued my interest with this one!

  18. Ryan permalink
    August 2, 2014 7:52 am

    I love memoirs, but not sure this one would be for me.

  19. Jennifer permalink
    August 8, 2014 5:14 pm

    I really do love memoirs. This sounds like it has a very interesting and unique narrative style.

  20. bookingmama permalink
    August 13, 2014 10:46 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful story that’s also beautifully written.

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