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From The CriticsIt all seems simple enough on the surface, even archetypal. A divorced mother and her teenage daughter are fighting. Across town, meanwhile, in the sultry summer heat, the girl's great-uncle is going blind, his maniacal obsession with the Weather Channel threatening his already-tentative hold on reality. Exhibiting both the punch and precision of a short-story writer and the patience of a novelist, Thompson handles the book with extraordinary care, creating a story that reminds us that happiness is elusive and loneliness is the hardest thing to share, that even in the midst of ordinary hardship, evil can suddenly storm in. In this book it's the seeming "crazies" who yield the wisdom and the cataclysms that are cathartic. Thompson's over-the-shoulder third-person voices are more intimate than most first- person voices, and if at times she risks implausible coincidences and conditions, these authorial prerogatives keep the story thundering on and enable her to build toward a memorable, dramatic climax.