Originally on my blog Guiltless Reading:http://guiltlessreading.blogspot.ca/2013/07/and-soft-wind-blows-by-lance-umenhofer.html
Timmy Enosh, an everyman, an anyman. Humdrum. Day in, day out. Sun up, sun down. Mid-life crisis time for Timmy: jolted out of his routine where the comfortable and familiar are taken out of his everyday equation. No wife, his favourite waitress suddenly hating on him, customers badmouthing him, co-workers acting out. What is he to do? He decides to take this "jolting" into his own hands and runs with it, including among other things, running around in a crazy Mr. Mistoffelees costume.
I initially gave this three stars when I finished it, but re-reading it and ruminating upon it some more, I felt that this little novella is so much more than it initially seems.
First, the message quietly creeps upon you. Change is difficult, people cope in different ways. The simplicity of the novel doesn't in any way make it shallow, it actually too a while for it all to sink in with me. (I guess that is why I held off writing this; I couldn't put my thumb on why I couldn't write what I thought about the book because I hadn't given it it the time to make an impact on me.)
Second, the style of running words together (usually numbers) adds to the rhythm of the read. While I found this a little unusual at first, I felt it was a fun little element that was quite unexpected, just like the unexpectedness of change. I am surprised that the whole novella wasn't written like a long poem because the rhythm of the writing is certainly there.
Third, the focus is Timmy and I empathized with him, got into his head, and I got him. I think there is a little of Timmy in everyone and someday, maybe, a Mistoffelees may not seem as crazy as it seems.
This is a short review for a short but very memorable read. Give this one a chance when you've got a quiet few hours on hand and you're in a contemplative mood.
Verdict: A novella about how the ordinary and the humdrum can be jolted into something just a little more.