JT has published some very well received articles on women and femininity for this website. For those who have not read them, I invite you to enjoy them now at the links below. PE
The Coriolis Effect, by JT, will sweep you through its 310 pages with the force of a nor’easter howling through the concrete canyons of New York City. That in itself is an impressive accomplishment given the complexity of the story. It’s a crime novel that includes all the crucial elements – sinister characters, betrayal, avarice, gruesome, exquisitely explicit violence and in the end a justice of sorts.
The heart of the story, though, the core around which the vortex of carnage and criminality swirl, is the infinitely more labyrinthine connection between a mother and daughter stranded at the edge of estrangement. JT paints this world of missed opportunities, of grief and the brutal weight of silence, with deftness and courage. And she does so with the understanding that only a woman can possess.
Even more to her credit, the author injects, sometimes forcefully, an unflinching examination of what most great novelists will never touch: masculism’s corrosive effect on women and femininity.
For some, this may feel awkward at times. Those uninitiated in the politics of gender might even conclude that an agenda has been forced into the narrative, like a Shakespearian soliloquy laced with passages about global warming.
The fault for that, if there is one to be found, lies with the reader and the culture that shaped her, not with the novelist. For in the end, this is a story about femininity as much or more than anything else. It is about a pursuit of womanhood that can be as elusive as a mother’s approval or a daughter’s forgiveness.
JT simply puts to page that which dwells in the minds and hearts of all women, mothers and daughters, and what most of them dare not say aloud. Even to themselves. It is not that these things are forced on the reader. The author instead puts readers in front of a mirror that reflects everything, even the shadows of their unspoken fears.
From the first few pages, The Coriolis Effect will draw you into a crime story that stands on its own merits against the backdrop of an approaching storm. But soon, like its namesake, the world will shift around you as you stand in place. The storm and the crime will be revealed for what they are: metaphors in the inner world of women and their mothers.
On a personal note, I have waited for years for this novel to be written. Perhaps I have waited for my whole life. I am pleased to say it was worth the wait. And I dare say, worth the weight.
If you have been frustrated reading otherwise good novels that are stained with ideas you left behind for a better way of thinking, reading The Coriolis Effect will make you feel right at home.