Striking novel about a woman who is drawn to an enigmatic store through which she begins a spiritual journey involving beings from ancient and traditional cultures inhabiting the raw landscape.
Feeling disconnected from her life, a woman named Jessie stumbles on a “bone-white” store by the lakeshore in northern New Mexico. A heavy wrought-iron sign reads “Weather’s Store,” and the place gives Jessie the sensation of an old dream. From there, she meets the mysterious, green-eyed Weather and is introduced to a host of characters, including frightening Indian witches; Maya, a weaver and healer; surreal, powerful women spirits; Azteca Marta, an herbalist; Marta’s son Mateo, the blended soul of New Mexico; old Juan Antonio; and a heartbreaking, hopeless Indian adolescent. Alternately frustrated, confused, awed and intrigued, Jessie comes to a deeper understanding and acceptance of her destiny through these mystical mentors and guides. Unlike traditional novels, Giomi’s work presents a series of parables and haikus utilizing the land, cultures and people of New Mexico, to which the author, a native of the same region, feels a deep connection. These fragments can have elegance and depth, such as when homemade crosses marking death are equated to “resting places…reminders to stop and remember and, then with infinite patience, to bless what must be left behind.” Giomi doesn’t romanticize the primitivism and poverty of this part of the world while recognizing its power, beauty and sacred quality and respecting its wisdom. She touches on the tragic alcoholism prevalent among Native Americans, particularly youth, who are “trapped between two worlds” and often die young of alcohol abuse, homicide, suicide and despair. Her background as a psychologist occasionally reflects in the “work” Jessie is encouraged to do (“To embark on any journey…you must confront what is hiding in the darkness” or “admit the wound”), but the ultimate journey is metaphysical, a reclamation of the soul. Weather is represented literally by rain, winds and snow and becomes a metaphor for the tempests of the human spirit.
One woman’s search for self in New Mexico achieves an abstract, meditative beauty.
– Kirkus Review
“Weather’s Store” is an original and much recommended pick for fiction collections with a spiritual twist.
– Micah Andre
The Midwest Book Review
5.0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful journey! Thelma Giomi transported me to the wild and magic landscapes of Northern New Mexico
– Julieann Cribari
Jessie’s experiences (the searching, the frustrations, the longing for something elusive, realizations and revelations) tugged at me as I journeyed with her. I wanted to jump in my car and drive until I found Weather’s Store. I want to experience that apocalyptic storm of awareness! Your writing style is poetic prose – fluid and tangible, chewy and gritty to the point of being sensual. I could see, smell, hear, and feel the wind, the rain, the moods, everything. I admire your exquisite use of language. Now I’m eager to read your poetry.
– Linda Spalding
I really enjoyed this fantastic story about a woman coming to understand herself and her place in the world. The main character is filled with self-doubt and has lost her love for living. She feels compelled to leave everything behind her, and seeks wisdom from a very interesting and imaginative cast of characters in Northern New Mexico. The visual imagery is rich, and takes you on a fantastic journey filled with witches, a curandera , and a slew of other characters that all play a role in Jessie’s transformation. It is a delightful distraction, and deals with issues most everyone can relate to.
– Brian Machemehl
5 stars A Northern New Mexican Journey
Wow, what a remarkable, meditative novel. Jess, the central figure in this book explores the unique traditions, spiritual healing and ancient ceremonies of current day, northern New Mexico. Her quest to find personal meaning in her life, takes her full circle. A thought provoking read!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Journey
What a wonderful and detailed journey of self realization through the spiritual, cultural and scenic wonders of New Mexico. Chapter after chapter I was transported to many of my favorite places, and the interesting and realistic characters make the story come alive. I could feel the crisp air and see the beautiful valley as I read with growing anticipation of the lessons to be learned. This book is a must read for anyone seeking self awareness or for those just seeking a great story with beautiful imagery. Well done!