Forecast: Turbulence by Janette Turner Hospital

Good afternoon everyone, and welcome to the Readings weather forecast, sponsored by Janette Turner Hospital’s glorious, weather-beaten short-story collection, Forecast: Turbulence.

Up north in Toronto we have an unexpected tornado disrupt a family that is then left to cope with the fallout from their father’s crime, including the demolished lives of those who live in the town they reside in (‘The Prince of Darkness is a Gentleman’).

Closer to home in Melbourne, a warm front brings the memory of a cyclone back to a boy who wishes desperately for his father to return – after a seven-year absence – for his sister’s wedding (‘Blind Date’).

At the Sunshine Coast, the annual migration of the humpback whale up the Queensland coastline is breathtaking viewing, though the man on the cruise boat with you talking to the whales may have a closer history to them – and a clearer understanding of what you’re saying about him – than you expect (‘Salvage’).

South Carolina is bracing for a Category 5 storm as Hurricane Francesca bears down on a young boy and his grandmother, frightened and excited by the thrill of impending evacuation, the stories of the islands’ stormy past, and a night of the window between dreams and reality breaking from the force of the storm (‘Hurricane Season’).

Elsewhere in America, new weather maps are drawn on two young girls who compare scars in the visiting room of the jail their stepfathers reside in, a delicate new friendship blossoming like blood from skin but able to be ruined by the whims of others (‘Weather Maps’).

There is more, but we’re running out of time for today’s forecast, though you should prepare for more localised saltwater flooding on the pages in front of you after reading the beautiful memoir piece ‘Moon River’, as Turner Hospital comes home to Brisbane and to a river full of her past.


Fiona Hardy blogs about Crime Fiction at readingkills.com and puts together the Dead Write column for the Readings Monthly newsletter.

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Forecast: Turbulence

Forecast: Turbulence

Janette Turner Hospital

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