Search This Blog

The Gathering Storm: Kelly Kizer Whitt

Saturday, June 4, 2011
On an early spring day in 1911, the life of 17-year-old Evelyn alters drastically after the death of her mother, the only family member she had ever known. Evelyn is whisked away to spend the summer at Crofton Castle, the home of the Ashcrofts, her deceased father’s brother and his family. The Ashcrofts are one of the wealthiest families in America, but their grand estate is brimming with hostility and deception and is as far from a home as Evelyn can imagine. Her aunt is a reclusive alcoholic, her uncle is oddly and perpetually absent, and Evelyn is left to befriend her three cousins. Ervin, a young man her age, is the first to reach out in friendship, but his wild ways may lead Evelyn down the wrong path. Her older cousins, Harry and Arthur, who were adopted into the family after tragic events, are bitter rivals who eventually make Evelyn their new conquest. The tempests outside may ravage the castle grounds, but it is the stormy relationships Evelyn forms with the Ashcrofts that will forever change the landscape of her heart.

good reads summary

This novel fits its title perfectly.  The reader begins with Evelyn, the main character, grieving from her mother's early demise-the only relative she thinks she has.  The tension stems upward when she is sent to live at a fancy house with people who she didn't even know she was related too.  The novel continues its tenuous hold on calm when Evelyn realizes that her "cousins" don't really care for her and she is stuck in a strange place with no friends.  The climax of the storm is probably one of the better qualities of the novel, exciting and tempestuous.  As a character, Evelyn is well-developed and endearing to the reader.  The reader will most likely dislike the "three cousins" and the rest of Evelyn's uninterested family.  The plot is good, nothing too unusual or innovative.  There are always a couple of secrets that a family shares that should never be revealed.  This book is terrific for young adults who enjoy intrigue mixed with romance. 
4 stars