"Superlative...Flowers rain from the sky in this book...charming, funny and terrifying...; she magically -- and realistically -- paints the details of rural life in wartime British Columbia. Beth Weeks -- strong, confused, abused, touched by magic and blasted by lightning -- is simply one of the most engaging young heroines in years."
--The Globe and Mail
Only a few books truly capture the heart and imagination. Gail Anderson-Dargatz's The Cure for Death by Lightning is such a one -- rich, thrilling, classically told, and as filled with beauty and the magic of life as it is with strange deeds and dark fears.
The Cure for Death by Lightning takes place against the backdrop of daily life on a farm in remote Turtle Valley, British Columbia, during World War II. Beth Weeks is fifteen years old and lives with her parents and rebellious older brother. Strange things are happening: a classmate of Beth's is mauled to death; children go missing on the nearby reserve; and Beth herself is being hunted by an unseen predator. The valley is home to a host of eccentric but familiar characters -- Nora, a Native girl in whose friendship Beth takes refuge; Filthy Billy, the hired hand who is thought to be possessed; Nora's mother, who has a man's voice and an extra little finger; and Beth's haunted mother, who recipes are laced throughout the novel, providing luscious descriptions of food, gardening, fruit-picking and preserving, and remedies, both practical and bizarre.