The Storm (1998)

Book Description

The Boston Globe calls Frederick Buechner "one of our finest writers." USA Today says he is "one of our most original storytellers." Now this acclaimed author gives us his most beguiling novel yet—a magical tale of love, betrayal, and redemption inspired by Shakespeare's The Tempest.

On wealthy Plantation Island in South Florida, an old man waits: Kenzie Maxwell is a writer, a raconteur, a rascal, an altruist, a mystic—a charismatic figure who enjoys life with his rich third wife but muses daily on the sins of his past. Two decades ago, Kenzie had to leave New York because of a scandal. He'd been a volunteer at a runaway shelter, and he'd fallen in love with a seventeen-year-old girl—a girl who died while giving birth to Kenzie's daughter. His older brother, Dalton, a lawyer and board member at the shelter, decided to quell the rumors by releasing Kenzie's note of apology to the press. Kenzie's reputation—and the girl's—were destroyed. He has never forgiven his brother.

Now it's the eve of Kenzie's seventieth birthday, and a storm is brewing. His beloved daughter, Bree—the child of the scandal—is coming down from New York for his birthday party. But his brother Dalton is coming down, too, to do some legal work for the island's ill-tempered matriarch. Aided and abetted by Dalton's happy-go-lucky stepson, a loutish gardener, a New Age windsurfer, a bumbling bishop, and a bonafide tempest, Kenzie must somehow contrive to reconcile with his brother—and make peace with his past. Infused with humanity, and informed by faith. The Storm is Frederick Buechner's most captivating novel since Godric—a richly satisfying, contemporary story of fragmented families and love's many mysteries that will move you, make you laugh, and fill you with wonder.


"He is one of our greatest novelists…. The Storm is … a miniature epic … a quiet marvel.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer

“A wonderfully human and satisfying meditative romance. A marvelous adaptation of Shakespeare—one of the best ever."
Kirkus Reviews

“[The Storm] leaves readers with admiration (again) for Buechner’s ability to create tension, resolve conflicts, and finally reach reconciliation.”
Dallas Morning News

“For all its charm and lilt, The Storm, like any among Buechner's best novels, cannot be taken lightly.”
The San Diego Reader

The Storm is nothing less than a modern paraphrase of Shakespeare's The Tempest; and it is entirely wonderful.”
Fort Worth Morning Star-Telegram

“Like other fine books by Frederick Buechner, The Storm is highly original and delights and surprises from first page to last. This is a warm and wonderful novel, a magical story, allusively and gracefully offering us an up-to-date, shadow version of Shakespeare's The Tempest. Stylish, witty, compassionate and charitable. The Storm is a story whose brilliant pleasures lead inevitably to a satisfying wisdom.”
— George Garrett, author of Death of the Foxes

“Buechner ensures that all’s well that ends well.”
New York Times Book Review