I found this book after reading reviews on Goodreads and seeing it again on some book blogs and on Amazon. I thought I better see what it was for myself.
The language of this story is beautiful and stands in stark contrast to the ugliness of what Hannah goes through. After reading it, Hannah really is like a friend. I'm about the same age as she is and I see my friends in her, people I know from school. There is some weird stuff going on here. Paranormal might be the right word but the book is still very grounded in the real world. These are true to life characters. The flashbacks are poignant and serve the current part of the story well, somewhat softening the horrific nature of what's happening now.
By the end, it's clear why Hannah does what she does. I don't want to ruin it for anyone, but the conclusion is satisfying and complete and makes sense in the context of everything taken together. Even still, it definitely did not turn out the way I expected! But that's a good thing in this world of cookie-cutter plots and stagnant stories. On The Gathering Storm really did bring a storm - one of emotion and thought about how violence can haunt the lives of women. Very well done for a male writer!