This is the third grieve.
Turn on the TV, check the news feed, pick up the paper. You can’t escape the reports of “murderous heat waves, Cuisinart tornadoes, ark-worthy rains, scorched-earth droughts, serial nor’beasters, and knock-on effects, like Vesuvial mudslides, uncontrollable, blazing-Hell wildfires, Atlantis-like inundations, and the general sense that the world is coming to an end.”
Welcome to “weird weather,” as Jake Krimmer stubbornly calls it in this timely new 75,000-word novel that takes place in the very-near future. Krimmer is a climate change denier set straight by two strong women. The first may be “the one,” even though Krimmer is reluctant to admit it. The other is an alluring, enigmatic, and perhaps other-worldly being who uses the far-reaching powers of the Nimbus—a technology that “lives above the Cloud in the datasphere”—to orchestrate Krimmer’s professional and romantic redemption. Think A Christmas Carol
but with a beautiful, high-tech guardian angel cum yenta instead of ghosts.
Jake Krimmer has found a whole new way to strip-mine wealth from America’s economy by using complex financial derivatives to make money off of other people’s misery—the disruption to the nation’s electricity supply caused by “weird weather.” Krimmer’s success is dependent on the accurate forecasts of his on-staff meteorologist, Samantha, a single-mother with an obstreperous six-year old son, Timmy. Sam’s predictions are so accurate, and the financial rewards so sizeable, that Krimmer has convinced her to call off their budding romance, lest her concerns about his difficulties in relating to Timmy interfere with her professional performance and thus their profits.
This arrangement seems to be working until Krimmer is confronted by the mysterious Rita Ten Grieve, whose self-proclaimed mission is to end his profiteering from climate change and make him a better, more caring person. Rita uses the Nimbus to take Krimmer forward and backward in time to administer ten “grieves” that persuade him of the need to change, both professionally and personally. But when Krimmer botches his attempt to convince Samantha that he loves both her and Timmy, and asks her to marry him, Rita must administer one final, powerful lesson—The Eleventh Grieve