The Wind Will Catch You follows the life of Sky Fielder. The story is full of her childhood memories from living alone with her brother after the death of her parents, her time in foster care followed by her adoption in a wealthy family. The memories begin to flood her thoughts after a mysterious call from a hospital saying her brother who died 10 years ago is there in a coma.
Michelle Theall does an incredible job navigating the life of a young child through the foster care system and the emotional rollercoaster that the life brings with it. She shows the broken parts of the system but also highlights the ones that are there to try and make it better. Her character development makes the reader understand Sky’s thought process and her use of Ben’s journal gives him life and understanding of what he suffered. Theall is able to take both their stories, all the heartbreak, disappointment and struggles and still provide hope for the future. If this is Theall's debut novel, I can’t wait to see what her future novels bring.
Thanks to NetGalley, Michelle Theall and Alcove Press for the ARC.
A captivating novel from Michelle Theall.
We follow Sky between her present and her childhood with her beloved brother and essentially the foster care system. Family, what forms it, how strong are bonds, what will we do to show we care. I spent a few days reading this one and no matter the time period or our narrator I always wanted the best possible outcome for Sky no matter her actions.
Thanks to NetGalley and Alcove Press for the ARC.
This story follows Ben and Sky from their poverty filled childhood, parents of drug addicts to their adult years. Their troubles fitting, especially for Sky who was adopted by wealthy people to Ben who was in prison as a troubled youth.
Oh my heart! What a haunting and sad hand of cards Sky and Ben were dealt. It's next to impossible to rise above and flourish in life with a start like that, where every step is a struggle. And even when good things do come your way, you don't trust them. I will be thinking about this one for quite some time.
A quick read yet an emotionally heavy book. I loved following this emotional journey in the past and present and seeing this outlook of the foster system and its failings. It was also interesting seeing how Sky perceived things vs how it actually happened. Overall I really enjoyed this, a lot more than I thought I would and it has such beautiful writing that you can't help but read on and follow Sky on her journey.
Thanks to Alcove Press and NetGalley for an advance read in exchange for this review.
Sky is a college student. She's also a product of the foster care system and lives in a halfway house. She gets a phone call from a hospital asking about her brother who is in their care. Except her brother is dead. But is he really? Her caseworker, Laura, is the only person she sort of trusts, and they try to figure this out. We learn about two different journeys through foster care - Sky and her brother, Ben.
This book is not an easy read. There's a lot to process, and there is a lot of pain to hold. There a lot of things that will make you uncomfortable, but that's part of Sky's story.
"I try to convince myself that if I had found some pain pills or Adderall, that I wouldn't have taken them—but my disappointment tells me I'm a liar." The Wind Will Catch You is a fast read that draws you into the failings of the foster care system, and our failure to properly respond to childhood trauma. It centres around Sky and her brother, Ben, who lose their parents when they are five and eleven. After subsistence living in a trailer in Skeleton Valley, the children are eventually found to be unattended, and their lives change radically.
The book jumps between the past and present day for Sky, who despite a rich family fostering her, struggles to capitalise on the advantages: "there's always a party on campus where I can lose myself and add to my mounting list of regrets." She uses drugs and alcohol to dull the pain: "My clothes reek like a forgotten burrito beneath a car seat. I have no idea where I am or how I got here, but I do know I am incredibly thirsty." Luckily she has a social worker, Laura, who is trying to help her get her life back in order. This is hampered by Beth's considerable distrust of the system: "She's with social services, which means I can't trust her." Their care relationship is derailed by their mounting attraction to each other, and by a doctor calling saying she needs some critical care decisions made for a brother Beth knew was dead.
The book takes a nuanced look at what two journeys through foster care, and the lifelong impacts on both Sky and Ben, and their conceptions of love and ability to form attachments to people. It would be interested to anyone who has been adopted, and struggled to understand their place and connection to their foster family, and of course, for members of those families. Social workers might also like it, as it acknowledges the impossibility of the job, caring without becoming attached to your clients, holding up boundaries while you teach your clients to be more open. It's also a story about being gay in a place that doesn't make it easy, under a religion that teaches only hate: "No one could know I was gay, because I would simply choose not to be."
The Wind Will Catch You
by Michelle Theall
Sky Fielder is a typical college student, except that she is a product of the foster care system, lives in a halfway house, and meets with her caseworker on a weekly basis. While failing to balance her grades and erratic social life, she receives a call from a hospital, asking her to make medical decisions for her brother Ben—who died more than a decade before.
It the such an emotional book about the failings of a broken foster care system, It was wonderful, and heart-touching.
Ben was the greatest big guy, trying to protect Sky. Yet he was fallen into the cracks, as Sky is adopted and he is left fending as a young boy just a strong boy wanting to just see his sister. I cried while Sam's story broke my heart.
It's often difficult to read stories about the broken foster care system in the US. This book doesn't make it any easier but it provides a beautiful set of characters to be invested in. Theall does an excellent job telling Sky's story and I'm grateful to NetGalley for the ARC for the purpose of this review. Five stars for sure!
Such an emotional book about the failings of a broken foster care system, a family’s will to survive, and the incredible bonds formed. I couldn’t put this book down. Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and author for an ARC of this book.
Wow! Beautiful and tragic story. I read this in one sitting. Could not put it down! Thank you to the publisher for letting me read this on Netgallery. This is one I’m going to buy for sure. Worth the read!!!