If you don’t know what “dust pneumonia” is, you need to read this novel by Rae Meadows. She writes with such grace that she breathes color into a 1930s landscape that very likely had little in reality. Set in Mulehead, Oklahoma, the novel tells the story of Annie Bell in unsparing and relatively unsentimental detail but with such deftness that you can taste the grit of the dust that storms through the town and plagues the citizens as they depart one by one. She writes with a tenderness that lays her characters bare, so that the book is free of the cloying element that often accompanies historical fiction. I devoted an entire rainy evening to this book and enjoyed it very much, to my surprise. Not my usual read, but there you go. Books, like life, have a disconcerting way of surprising you, and that is one of the many reasons I love them!