Third time is definitely the charm.
The most fun of paying attention to a particular author is to see how her writing transforms over the years, from the first book onwards. It is beyond clear that Zielin's confidence in her writing has vastly improved since the beginning: I may have loved Donut Days but I really LOVED The Waiting Sky.
In part, this is because Zielin has adeptly tackled a very difficult subject: that of alcoholism and how it affects entire families. I learned a ton reading this book-- that interactions among family members are beyond complex when a disease of this type takes hold, that self-awareness of one's feelings on this subject are incredibly difficult to decipher, and that it takes one tough cookie to work out the solution to these problems. I'll admit I stayed up way, way too late to finish this novel one evening because the last 75 pages would not let me go. I had to know how our protagonist worked her way through everything being thrown at her.
Plus, it has tornadoes in it! I also learned a boatload about their destructive capabilities. And no, you will not catch me as a tornado tourist at any point in the future. Yipes.
With these double (or triple) whammies, there is no doubt in my mind that this novel will have a cult following when it comes out this summer.