This book is one of the Storm Shepherd series titled “Tammin Whipperwillow”. It is the story of a young woman who has been given a divine gift and the responsibility that comes with those gifts.
Tammin Whipperwillow knew from a very early age that she was different. Whenever she would help her mother collect berries cooking, she would always say hello to the squirrels and they would say hello right back. Her mother would always laugh whenever Tammin would tell what the squirrels were saying, but Tammin didn’t understand what was funny.
It didn’t stop with just the squirrels. She would hear the birds talking about where to find the best grubs or which of the apples were ripe. Her mother always called her a “good luck” charm because Tammin always knew where to find the best fruit to gather. Not until Tammin was twelve years old did she realize that no one else could hear what the animals were saying.
One day, as Tammin was playing outside her family’s home in Rivervale, a dog came up to her and had an urgent look on his face. Tammin asked the dog what was wrong, and the dog told her that Lubby, Mayor Fatbottom’s son, had fallen into the well. Tammin quickly told her mother that Lubby was in trouble, and the whole town ran to help him.
When they asked her how she knew it happened, she told them the dog told her. Everyone laughed, except for old Dripple Smitherish. Later that day, Dripple stopped by their house. Dripple announced that Tammin had been called by the Storm Father. From that day on, Tammin would learn all of the teachings of the Storm Father, in addition to her numbers and letters.
As she grew older, she learned that she not only had the ability to speak with the animals, but could also sense the patterns of the weather. During the construction of the Third Wall, she would be asked if it was going to be a clear day to do the work, or if hopefully it would rain.
Not everyone believed she had the powers she claimed to have. Many people who knew the stories of the Storm Father claimed that he was a made-up god. They claimed praying to him would be as useful as praying to have Rivervale Island become part of Antonica again. She would always dismiss these claims, for she had been told by the forest why she was given these powers.
One day as the wind whipped up, it began to speak to her. She realized the wind was actually the voice of the forest. It told her that the Storm Father was with her, but not in the way that she thought he was. The forest went on to tell her that Tammin was one of the three people that could save her.
When Tammin asked what she needed to do to save the forest, the clear sky broke with rain. Wind gusts swirled the rain around in such a way that it formed a series of patterns that Tammin vowed not to forget. The rain first showed an old man holding a shepherd’s crook, then a crystal sphere that was broken in half. Darkness swarmed from the broken sphere, spreading throughout the forest. Soon the rain of darkness was so thick, she couldn’t see the forest.
When she asked whom the other ones that could help, she was shown a man with a sword and one with a bow. The one with the sword laid his weapon down on the rock in front of her and it became a shepherd’s crook. The one with the bow laid down his weapon and it became a perfect crystal sphere. She asked where they were, and where she stood, the trees began to slowly change with the seasons, building up in speed, until she saw many seasons pass before her very eye. Then all returned to normal.
She called out to the forest and asked it what she needed to do when she met the other three. The forest remained silent. She called out again, and the forest still remained silent. She knew that the answer would come one day. For now, she would wait. Wait for as long as she needed to.