Set during the devastating 2015 Memorial Day floods in Texas, 18-year-old Boyd Montgomery returns from her grandfather's wedding to find her friend Isaac missing, setting off to find him through the newly unfamiliar landscape, haunted by the ghosts of Texas's past and present.
... lambent ... Dinan’s beautiful prose focuses on the specifics of Texas history and lessons gleaned from larger human stories. She streams together the stories usually only known to those who live there. The glaciers never made it that far south, so most of the state’s lakes formed after rivers were dammed and those downstream flooded out. Her descriptions of thalassophobia (the fear of deep water) provoked my own sense of dread at what lies beneath ... Interspersed throughout Dinan’s novel are other markers, those moments in our collective history that document the injuries we have inflicted on Earth.
... fabulous and engrossing, both faithful to the real-world details of central Texas and wildly imaginative, peopled with treasure hunters, prehistoric beasts, distracted professors and one improbable young woman facing a momentous decision. Dinan's storytelling flows as forcefully as a flash flood in this spellbinding first novel in which a handsome young man, refreshingly, awaits rescue by a powerful woman.
You’ll find Things You Would Know if You Grew Up Around Here in the fiction section, but this debut novel from a doctoral candidate in fiction writing at Texas Tech is something more than that. An imagined story, sure, but it all takes place during a real-world event—the Memorial Day floods of 2015 in west-central Texas. There’s more than a little of Salman Rushdie’s magical realism at play ... You’ll have to decide for yourself what purpose they serve and whether the novel’s conclusion feels earned. But it’s a journey worth taking as Dinan offers readers a reminder that what happened in Texas nearly five years ago is just one small piece of the climate disasters to come.