Michael Grant Jaffe
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Michael Grant Jaffe
W.W. Norton
287 pages
October 2004
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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When an unexpected hurricane descends upon the small coastal town of Bentleyville, North Carolina, weatherman Lucas Prouty finds himself the object of national attention.

So far Lucas has quietly plodded through his life, divorced for a few years but still mourning over the loss of an unborn child. Without resorting to loud ties, checkered sportcoats or silly cartoon characters touting the daily forecast, Prouty enjoys his job, although he is decidedly a loner. But he has his eye on a local bartender/student, Kiki, not quite ready to make his move.

The tropical storm Lucas thought would blow out to sea changes direction and is upgraded, heading directly towards Bentleyville. Prouty is drawn into the frantic activity surrounding the escalating conditions of what is now Hurricane Isabel. When he goes on site to report the exact status of the hurricane, Isabel snatches Prouty in front of his raptly watching audience. Bruised and buffeted by ferocious winds and flying debris, Lucas finds shelter in the basement of a once-trendy, now demolished restaurant.

Nine days later, Lucas is discovered alive and his world is changed forever. New York beckons with a new job and appearances on talk shows. Instant celebrity intrudes, accompanied by an entourage of sycophants and every luxury the new media darling could ever want. As the newest weatherman for a New York media franchise, Prouty’s every need is anticipated and provided for. Any success-driven young man would be delighted. But Lucas is overwhelmed, doubting his place in the new life fate has so kindly delivered to him.

In fresh and insightful prose, Jaffe creates a believable character, complete with the human flaws one would expect in a confused and lonely young man. Stuck in the middle of indecision, Lucas must determine which way to go, one foot on the ladder of success and the other in the past, unable to forecast his own future.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Luan Gaines, 2004

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