The Windows of Heaven

The Windows of Heaven

by Ron Rozelle
4.3 3

Paperback(First Edition)

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Overview

The Windows of Heaven by Ron Rozelle

Set in Galveston during the 1900 storm, the most devastating natural disaster in the history of the United States, this sweeping novel follows the fates of several richly drawn characters. It is the story of Sal, the little girl who is wise beyond her years and who holds out as much hope for the world as she does for her father, the ruined son of a respected father.

It is the story of Sister Zilphia, the nun who helps run the St. Mary's Orphanage. The only thing separating the two long buildings of the orphanage is a fragile line of sand dunes; the only thing separating Zilphia from the world is the brittle faith that she has been sent there to consider. A faith that has never been truly tested. Until now.

And it is the story of Galveston herself, the grand old lady of the Gulf Coast, with her harbor filled with ships from the world over; her Victorian homes and her brothels and her grand pavilions set in their own parks; and her stately mansions along Broadway, the highest ground on the island, at eight feet above sea level. All must face their darkest night now, as nature hurls the worst she can muster at the narrow strip of sand and saltgrass that is doomed to become, for a time, part of the ocean floor.

This is the story of heroes and villains, of courage and sacrifice and, most of all, of people trying desperately to survive. And it is the story of an era now gone, of splendor and injustice, filled with the simple joy of living.

RON ROZELLE is the author of Into That Good Night (Farrar, Straus, Giroux), which was a finalist for the PEN American West Creative Nonfiction Prize and the Texas Institute of Letters Carr P. Collins Award. He lives in Lake Jackson with his wife Karen and their daughters and teaches creative writing and English.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781881515272
Publisher: Texas Review Press
Publication date: 07/01/2000
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.53(d)

About the Author


RON ROZELLE is the author of Into That Good Night (Farrar, Straus, Giroux), which was a finalist for the PEN American West Creative Nonfiction Prize and the Texas Institute of Letters Carr P. Collins Award. He lives in Lake Jackson with his wife Karen and their daughters and teaches creative writing and English.

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The Windows of Heaven: A Novel of Galveston's Great Storm of 1900 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Death by drowning contains it's own special horrors, but the death of an entire city, submerged under a fifteen foot storm surge is beyond description. Well, almost. Ron Rozelle manages to take you to Galveston, and place you in the middle of her busy streets, dangerous seaport wharehouses, and elegant Victorian mansions during the late summer of 1900. The many stories you will encounter are interesting enough to hold your attention, but since they are unified by one world changing event- the Great Storm of 1900- each one takes on a special significance, as death reaps it's bitter harvest across the island and life struggles for higher ground. If you live on the Gulf Coast of Texas, then the storm is part of your history and heritage. Those who live outside the region have become familiar with the tale through such non-fiction books as Issac's Storm. Even though this tale is a fictional account, Mr. Rozelle has included enough real history in his pages to give a sense of depth to his characters and stories, most of which are interwoven from different points of view. This style allows you to deeply identify with each of the main characters, but it did leave me wanting to shout 'get on with it!' during some of the middle chapters as stories overlapped. By the end, I felt that I had my own personal window into the events of that tragic day, and I mourn for the loss of life that Mr. Rozelle clearly illustrates with his prose. The people of the island become so real to you that the next time the skies darken and thunder rattles your windows, you will be haunted by their memory. This is a well researched story, and if you are going to visit Galveston, I reccomend picking up this book before you make the journey. Better than any travelouge, this novel will give you a sense of the history and geography of the island, and if you find someone crying as they stand on an umarked stretch of sand near the eastern shore - you'll know why. ..And you'll likely join them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel was artfully constructed, and written in a voice so descriptive as to give the reader a clear picture of everything described therein. The characters and the emotions they face in such dire circumstances transcend what has, until now, been only the subject of forgotten history and obscure lore. Rozelle has added yet another masterpiece to his collection of works. Anyone who loves to read should not overlook this novel.