Leaning Into The Wind: A Memoir Of Midwest Weather
Midwesterners love to talk about the weather, approaching the vagaries and challenges of extreme temperatures, deep snow, and oppressive humidity with good-natured complaining, peculiar pride, and communal spirit. Such a temperamental climate can at once terrify and disturb, yet offer unparalleled solace and peace.Leaning into the Wind is a series of ten intimate essays in which Susan Allen Toth, who has spent most of her life in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, reveals the ways in which weather has challenged and changed her perceptions about herself and the world around her. She describes her ever-growing awareness of and appreciation for how the weather marks the major milestones of her life. Toth explores issues as large as weather and spirituality in “Who Speaks in the Pillar of Cloud?” and topics as small as a mosquito in “Things That Go Buzz in the Night.” In “Storms,” a severe thunderstorm becomes a continuing metaphor for the author’s troubled first marriage. Two essays, one from the perspective of childhood and one from late middle age, ponder how the weather seems different at various stages of life but always provides unexpected opportunities for self-discovery, change, and renewal. The perfect entertainment for anyone who loved Toth’s previous books on travel and memoir, Leaning into the Wind offers engaging and personal insights on the delights and difficulties of Midwest weather. Susan Allen Toth is the author of several books, including Blooming: A Small-Town Girlhood (1981), My Love Affair with England (1992), England As You Like It (1995), and England for All Seasons (1997). She has contributed to the New York Times, the Washington Post, Harper’s, and Vogue. She lives in Minneapolis.