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Rain Village

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  374 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
Young Tessa is a diminutive girl, far too small for farm work and the object of ridicule by both her own family and the other children in their isolated Midwestern community. Her father seems to believe in nothing beyond his crops, certainly not education for his misfit daughter. When a mysterious, entrancing librarian comes to town, full of fabulous stories, earthy wisdom ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Unbridled Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,452)
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Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
Man, I wished this was better. It just got worse and worse. :(
May 06, 2011 Louise rated it it was amazing
Little Tessa Riley is a tiny, diminutive twelve-year-old girl who barely stands four feet tall. She was born with hands the size of small plums and fingers like star fish. She is far too small to help on the family farm harvesting corn and potatoes. Tessa can’t even hold one large potato with both hands. Her mother, father, sister, and two brothers, all think she is a freak. They call her mean and hurtful names like: munchkin, tramp, and black-haired Jezebel. Her mother forces her to hang from a ...more
Apr 27, 2014 Melodie rated it really liked it
Tessa is considered to be too small to fit in a regular sized world. Her family scorns her inability to pull her weight on their Kansas farm, the people of the small town of Oakley consider her with pity and or ridicule.
One person considers her to be beautiful and fascinating. Mary, the town librarian, herself the object of local scorn or fascination, takes Tessa under her wing. Under Mary's tutelage, Tessa learns to read and write and begins to develop self esteem.
As in all lives,change is t
Aug 13, 2009 Amanda rated it really liked it
Recommended to Amanda by: Booking Mama Blog
Shelves: nypl
Tessa Riley is a young girl growing up on her family's farm in Oakley, Kansas. She has a brother, sister, and parents. But she's no ordinary girl. She's only four feet tall. She is relentlessly teased by the community because of her height. Her family are very straight laced farmers who's sole concern is maintaining the the extent that the children are discouraged from learning (they can't even read) to work on the farm. Tessa is too small for most farm work so she is told to hang from ...more
Jul 27, 2013 Lori rated it it was ok
Have been trying to read this for several months, as in started it in December, and it became a mission for me to finish. Enjoyed the circus life descriptions and found the plot intriguing. Appreciated that main character Tessa was naive, but just couldn't like her. Writing was mostly trite and very redundant - same sentences over and over again without advancing the story. Story dragged but then ended with a lot of pieces unexplained (motivation; unfinished characters) a bit confusing since so ...more
Serra Belan
Jun 20, 2011 Serra Belan rated it it was ok
I found this to be a book with a great start, then it just dragged on and on. The last 40 pages I skimmed through the dialogue just to get the book over with. I just couldn't like the main character after about half way through the book. If you want a book that describes everything down to the last grain of sand, this is your book. It was just too much detail. I felt like the author was trying to drag out the number of pages in the book. The idea was there, but not a good follow through over all ...more
Oct 03, 2008 Courtney rated it did not like it
I had to quit reading this book because it got evermore disturbing as I read. There are just some things I don't like to read about and incest is one of them. Call me crazy.

Initially, it had a good plot... could have been quite interesting, but Mary starts getting really slutty, really fast and the main character's story is just SAD.

Another book that could have been, but isn't.
Jun 27, 2009 Deb rated it liked it
Shelves: chic-lit
Having enjoyed Godmother, I wanted to give this one a try. Tessa is tiny and unhappy until she meets the bewitching librarian, Mary. With Mary as her employer, teacher, and friend things do improve a bit, especially when she is introduced to the trapeze and the idea of life in the circus. The story does ramble...
Kiana Cook
I loved this book. It manages to be grounded in reality and fantasy all at once and the entire story is shrouded in mystery and dreaminess. Tessa takes readers on a journey from Oakley, Kansas and its magical library to the glittering circus and Mexico City and finally to the legendary, titular Rain Village, all in her quest to find herself, heal from the trauma of her past, and make peace with what happened to her mentor, librarian Mary Finn, so many years ago.

The plot is rather simple for the
Aug 26, 2014 Bookworm rated it really liked it
I adore Carolyn Turgeon's work. I remembered the first time I picked up Mermaid at Barnes and Nobles. It was as if it had been waiting for me to walk home with it. I knew I had to read Rain Village someday and I finally snagged a copy of it online!

This book is... hmm... peculiar. The plot is shrouded in mystery and even till the end you don't know what truly happened to Mary when she was in Rain Village, and why she took her own life in Oakley. The narration is simple to read but often heavy to
Melissa Chung
Jul 28, 2014 Melissa Chung rated it really liked it
I give this book 4.5 stars only for being a bit repetitive. Other than that this was a beautifully written story.

Tessa Riley is a 12 year old farm girl when the book starts out. She is from Oakley, Kansas and is a little person.

This is the first book I have ever read that had a little person as its protagonist. Tessa stands 4 feet tall has starfish shaped hands that are the size of plums.

Tessa dreams of being important. To the world, to her anyone. Her mother continuously calls her
Apr 15, 2010 Lisa marked it as to-read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
There is a hazy quality to Rain Village that disguises the harsher aspects of Tessa’s world. Everything from her familial relationships to her time at the circus is impressionistic. Readers get the idea of what happens without having to deal with exacting details. It is very much a coping mechanism for Tessa that spills over into the rest of the novel, one that causes the novel to be more picturesque than it really should be given everything that happens to her over the course of her childhood. ...more
Michelle Richards
Mar 05, 2013 Michelle Richards rated it liked it
This book started for me in the same vein as a Joanna Harris book (who I adore) and I quickly took to it turning each page and soaking up the imagery however I feel the later half of the book let it down somewhat with a rather weak ending (without giving anything away).

Set in the rural midwestern farm community Tessa is a small girl for her age and lives her life feeling invisible unless being tormented by her family and peers. She meets a mysterious woman who runs the local library who is full
Brittany Perry
Jun 17, 2014 Brittany Perry rated it really liked it
I liked it but I didn't love it. For a first novel it was quite good but as with most writers her later works are much better. What killed this book for me was the ambiguous ending.I mean did she reunite with the circus people and her husband or were they too hurt by what had happened? Other than that it was a wonderful and very beautifully written novel. I loved how fast paced it was.
Danielle Maser
Jul 12, 2013 Danielle Maser rated it liked it
This book took me a couple of starts and stops to read. Eventually I sat down and gave this book a chance and what I came away with is a conflicted feeling. The character of Tessa (the narrator) is sweet though self-deprecating and her view of events is Naive/innocent. The mystery of who Mary really is and what she is hiding is the driving force behind the story but here is where I become dissatisfied with this book.
There is such buildup of this character Mary, even more than the main character
Tiffany Day
I did like how she tryed to make something for her self and how she was forever thankful to her Mary( even tho at point it seems she was more obsessed with her than anything else) Tessa tho seemed fickle. she married the first man she ever known really. and then after years of being so happy a stranger shows up and she just leaves with him? even when he told her that he left his wife and child for the journey to Rain Village? and did my nook loose the last chapter or did the book really end with ...more
Jul 29, 2015 Meg rated it really liked it
An interesting story about a woman who's struggling to find her way in the world after a rough upbringing. I liked what she grew up to do as a job, every kid's dream job! :D Rain village sounds pretty awful after the wet spring and summer I've just lived through, but makes for a fascinating village in the story.
Sep 20, 2010 Chris rated it it was amazing
Absolutely LOVED this! A young girl in the rural midwest (early part of the century) is small in size and somewhat rejected by her farm family. She is left to hang from a bar for hours on end with the idea that this will help stretch her bones to grow. When a strange and charming woman comes to town to run the library everyone is a bit enamored, or intimidated. Tessa is intrigued and befriends her, gets herself a job (which her family approves of) and spends time learning about Mary's former lif ...more
Oct 18, 2014 Mia rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book. It's the kind of read that pulls you in and then when you're done...there's this sort of magic in the air. Like your world just changed after you read it.
Dec 04, 2015 R K rated it it was ok
It started off interesting than started to slow down and drag on in the middle and finally gave a (in my opinion) quick and unsatisfactory ending
Apr 01, 2016 Megalion rated it really liked it
The writing style was a little to get used to, not bad but just a touch more fanciful then I'm used to.

It's about a little girl who feels at odds with her farming family because she's very small and can't really do any of the physical labor. She ends up befriending a taboo lady in town and well the book is about her journey and coming to terms with herself and her identity and feelings about those she loves and has been influenced by.

It's very much like a fairy tale but isn't. The adventures a
I enjoyed this book with its colourful settings of the circus, Mexico, and Rain Village. The pace was gentle and the writing sometimes had repetitive descriptions but I liked the plot and the tie-ins with the stories Mary had told Tessa in Kansas.
Jul 17, 2011 Tamara rated it liked it
This was the second book I have read by Carolyn Turgeon. Once again, I liked it, but I find myself feeling quiet and reflective as I turn the last page. It's not that this story is sad, but it is not happy or even uplifting either. The story is appealing, will keep you turning the pages and reading. I think that the characters jump out of the pages as real live individuals we recognize - at least their thoughts, feelings and actions. I look forward to reading more from Ms Turgeon,and although th ...more
Aug 07, 2013 Risse rated it really liked it
I expected this book to have magic in it, or a good dose of fantasy because it's a Turgeon novel. This world is not strictly fantastical, but the story is still a magical read. It's a coming of age story, a tale of triumph over abuse, and of friendship overcoming prejudice. Turgeon writes of the beauty of the soul, the beauty in the strength of the body, and the beauty in searching out dreams no matter how seemingly unattainable. She perfectly painted for me everything from a dingy farmhouse to ...more
Audacia Ray
I read this book in 2006 when it was it first released, and gulped it down in about a day. A lot of fragments of the story stuck with me, and I devoured Carolyn's next two books as well (good, but not stunning like Rain Village).

I found it just as magical and lovely on rereading it, and I will read anything Carolyn writes. In addition to great story and great characters, Rain Village is a beautiful meditation on grief, loss, and wounds that don't heal, but become part of us.

Leslie Fisher
Jul 15, 2014 Leslie Fisher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, adult, favorites, circus
This was truly a gorgeous book to read. The characters, the stories, the settings - everything was just so beautiful. I'm fascinated by circus books, and this book did not disappoint, but there was more to it than that. It was about finding yourself and also that it does no good to dwell in the past. This book was great storytelling. I could imagine everything written. I'm really interested in checking out some of this author's other books.
Elena Johansen
DNF. I wanted to like this book, and some of the imagery was beautiful, but I kept picking it up, reading a chapter or two, and getting tired of the protagonist and her boundless naivete and whining. I stopped reading just when she got to the circus, which should have given the narrative new life as it introduced all these new characters, but all it really was was an endless stream of reminiscing about Mary this and Mary that...
Aug 13, 2014 Christin rated it it was ok
I hated the third part.
May 28, 2009 Tracey rated it really liked it
A sweeping story of life, love, misery, hope & hoplessness. Seemingly individual lives intersect and entwine with one another revealing once again the power of humanity. The author tells a tale in which water plays a leading role, it is no surprise that her next book is to be about mermaids. This story held no surprise reveal, but it captured my imagination and did not let go! I will earnestly be contemplating the ending for days.
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Carolyn Turgeon is the author of five novels: Rain Village (2006), Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story (2009), Mermaid (2011), which is being developed for film by Sony Pictures, the middle-grade The Next Full Moon (2012), and her latest, The Fairest of Them All (2013). She edits Faerie Magazine and teaches fiction writing at the University of Alaska at Anchorage's Low-Residency MFA program.

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