The Wind Will Catch You: A Novel (Paperback)
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In the tradition of Barbara Kingsolver and perfect for fans of Mostly Dead Things, in this powerful debut novel, a young woman searches for the truth about her childhood, and what she finds forever alters her beliefs about home, identity, and family.
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.
The call must be a scam, and besides, Sky has a new life now. None of her classmates know about her desperate and feral childhood in West Texas, where her brother kept her mind off hunger with adventures along the riverbeds and cliffs surrounding their trailer—or about the rash decision that cost him his life and almost ended hers.
In fact, only one person truly knows Sky, because it’s her job. But Sky’s assigned caseworker, Laura, is an employee of social services, which surely means she can’t be trusted. As Laura helps Sky unravel the mysteries surrounding the man in the hospital, Sky remembers the risks it takes to love and be loved. When the past and the present collide and long-kept secrets are revealed, Sky must decide how far she’s willing to go to have a home and family again.
The Wind Will Catch You is an eye-opening, gritty, and hopeful novel by GLAAD media award nominee Michelle Theall about upheaval and resilience, forgiveness and family, love and unexpected allies, all set in motion by issues of social justice and a broken American foster care system.
About the Author
Alaska magazine editor since 2013, Michelle Theall started her career in publishing in 1994 at Women’s Sports and Fitness magazine. Over the next 28 years, she garnered success as editor-in-chief of three different national titles, founder of one, and the author of three non-fiction books. She has appeared on NBC Today, MSNBC, The Travel Channel, and was recently featured in O, The Oprah Magazine. Her feature essay in 5280 Magazine, All That’s Left is God, earned a GLAAD Media Award nomination, which led to her critically acclaimed memoir, Teaching the Cat to Sit, about growing up gay and Catholic in the Texas Bible Belt.
Praise for The Wind will Catch You:
“A heart-aching story about the resilience of hope. Michelle Theall does a brilliant job of taking us into the lives of characters who, despite unthinkable tragedy, somehow keep moving forward, toward love. A beautiful novel about the best and worst in human relationships, from siblings to parents to the family we choose, this book had me at the first page and held onto me to the very last.”
—Buzzy Jackson, award-winning author of To Die Beautiful and member of the National Book Critics’ Circle
“A compelling and emotional novel, full of hope and redemption.”
—Erika Krouse, 2023 Edgar award-winning author of Tell Me Everything: The Story of a Private Investigation
“Michelle Theall is a writer of deep heart, insight, and an uncanny ability to capture human longing and emotion . . . Read The Wind Will Catch You for the plot twists that will keep you standing on the porch of your own house lost in a world created by Theall's genius.”
—Tracy Ross, author of The Source of All Things and winner of the National Magazine Award
“Theall weaves a swift plot filled with characters so completely worth rooting for . . . An open-eyed examination of the way our past affects our present, and how—with hope and love and help—we might inhabit a brighter future. It’s impossible to read the first pages and not connect with this wounded and beautiful protagonist, her story unfolding like gusts across American landscapes. For all who have ever hurt, or healed, there is honesty and courage here.”
—Andrew J. Graff, author of Raft of Stars
Praise for Teaching the Cat to Sit: A Memoir:
“At once powerful and touching, Michelle Theall’s moving memoir captures the meaning of family—the families we inherit and the ones we make.”
—Piper Kerman, New York Times bestselling author of Orange is the New Black
“A clear-eyed,brave-hearted and utterly unforgettable memoir about life’s big things—love,faith, identity, and justice—and the sometimes ferocious effort it takes to balance them. At this book’s center is a beautifully rendered relationship between a mother and daughter that’s as complicated and memorable as any I’ve ever read. Here is a story told with grace, honesty, and remarkable spirit.”
—Sara Corbett, New York Times bestselling coauthor of A House in the Sky
“Michelle Theall can really write. This is a little story packed with big issues and told with real mastery.”
—Kelly Corrigan, New York Times bestselling author of The Middle Place
“Powerful down to the last page. This book shows the resilience of its author and the universal quest to belong at all costs.”
—Julia Scheeres, New York Times bestselling author of Jesus Land