Rainwater by Sandra Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’ve read absolutely nothing by Sandra Brown. Absolutely. Nothing.
I know she’s a prolific writer with dozens of titles to her name, but those are the writers I usually avoid – serial authors (Patterson, Baldacci, et.al) who spew forth a book every 6 months or so. I’m more of a “one book every three years or so-author” reader – I guess I’m kind of a book snob. Not that their literary talent it less than the others, but I like following my own trends.
Under normal circumstances, I probably would not have picked up Rainwater, by Sandra Brown except, my friends over at Reading for Sanity spoke highly of it and are offering a giveaway; I have checked it out for several patrons over the past few weeks; and it was SHORT, so that was appealing because of my continued reading funk (but I’ve finished TWO books in one week – I’m making progress!).
The great “swooshing” sound you now hear is me getting sucked into this book from page one.
Ella Barron is a working single Mom, who runs a boarding house in Gilead, Texas during the Great Depression. She is also caring for her autistic son without the knowledge that he is, in fact, autistic. Enter handsome David Rainwater, a new boarder who has come to Gilead to seek treatment for terminal cancer from a family doctor. And thus begins the romantic beginnings of this quiet, but socially responsible, novel.
Brown gives life to a period in history that forced many to endure hardships and injustices with dignity and strength. The struggle for survival during drought and economic Depression, as well as the turbulent racial tensions of the time are portrayed with historical accuracy. Her main characters ring true and have a depth and humanity that are endearing. Ella and Mr Rainwater will utterly charm and captivate you. Their qualities of honesty, morality, endurance, compassion and courage are refreshing and motivating at a time when many Americans face similar economic uncertainty. The relationship between Mr Rainwater and Solly, Ella's challenged son, is so believably tender and loving as is the relationship that develops with Solly's mother. Good versus evil is very well defined in this novel as we meet up with the despicable Conrad Ellis and his honchos. She also provides wonderful bookends to the novel that will surprise you.
For the cautious reader, there are a few scenes of violence that may cause concern. And the romantic interlude between Ella and Mr. Rainwater is more illusion than explicit. Both are done with a soft and temperate hand. I've seen worse on a TV commerical.
This gentle, tenderhearted novel brings us back to a simpler time when love could be so powerfully displayed by the simple act of drying dishes for a partner or going out for an ice cream cone together. Thank you, Sandra, for giving us this lovely holiday gift.
Book source: Public library
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