[A] lovely, compelling and occasionally brutal novel ... The novel is defined by time, however: Escandón chronicles events from January through December of 2016. Her story is a feat of both plot and character. Each member of the extended Alvarado clan is intriguing and flawed but deserving of empathy; even when they make questionable decisions, they are both convincing and entertaining ... This is a story of people, place and connection. Absorbing, moving, comic and tragic, L.A. Weather will capture readers and never let them go.
... a lively and sharply written portrait ... Tracing the Alvarados' highs and lows over one calendar year, Escandón introduces us to a tight-knit family as full of tension, secrets and betrayals as they are all-consuming love. As the women grapple with their marriages, she unpacks several deep, complicated questions about life and loyalty, examining with such critical thought the everyday and the mundane that each person's life becomes almost epic in proportion. While I cannot say that I liked every single character all of the time, I often would find myself rooting for one of the ladies only pages after I had been rolling my eyes at her. Escandón fully immerses us in both the family and the particular unit of sisterhood that Olivia, Claudia and Patricia comprise. The book is fast-paced, not only because of the dramatic reveals but because of the breadth of emotion that is covered, celebrated and championed on each page ... I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the absolutely glorious descriptions of the scenery, the drought, and the pride felt by families who have made a living off the land ... It seems strange to say that a novel full of family dysfunction and global destruction is warm, witty and fun, but L.A. Weather is all of that and more. Escandón is a gifted writer who is able to braid storylines and ideas together while letting her readers forget that they are being taught a lesson about love, family and resilience.
Telenovela anyone? Why, yes, bestselling Escandón (Gonzalez & Daughter Trucking Co., 2005) also works in film and TV, so, naturally, the Alvarados are getting the Hollywood treatment. If the print version is any indication, the forecast sure looks promising for screen success.
[Escandón] returns with a rollicking and hilarious family drama of telenovela-esque proportions that doubles as a fiery love letter to Los Angeles ... Beyond the juicy plot, Escandón is a pro at capturing the socioeconomic geography of L.A. ... This is by far one of the most endearing L.A. novels in recent memory.
As the Alvarados fight and unite repeatedly, the plot incorporates broader issues including climate change, gender politics, immigration, and a presidential election. A warmhearted domestic drama with political undercurrents makes for fun reading.