Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rainwater” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,462 Ratings  ·  1,463 Reviews
Ella Barron, a single Texas mother, built a careful life running a boarding house in the Depression-era cotton South. But when a mysterious stranger takes a free room, he also takes Ella’s careful life apart. In the tradition of Gone With the Wind comes historical romance in the Dust Bowl.

Ella runs her Texas boarding house with the efficiency of a ship’s captain and the gr
Hardcover, 247 pages
Published November 3rd 2009 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Rainwater, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Rainwater

Envy by Sandra BrownLethal by Sandra BrownChill Factor by Sandra BrownRainwater by Sandra BrownThe Alibi by Sandra Brown
Favorite Sandra Brown Novels
4th out of 30 books — 199 voters
The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenKiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth PhillipsSlammed by Colleen HooverBeautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuireMe Before You by Jojo Moyes
Cry, Tear-Jerker Romances
96th out of 666 books — 1,109 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Lady Vigilante (Feifei)
4-4.5 stars!!


I’m a huge Sandra Brown fan, and some of the most memorable romantic suspense books I’ve read are penned by her. Though this book was a departure from her usual storyline, I enjoyed it just the same. It’s refreshing to read a story that’s not just pure romance once in a while, and as a US history lover, this historical fiction read was just what I needed. Whether it’s the nostalgic setting or the lovely romance that takes place, this is a story that will touch hearts, and is probabl
Written April 19, 2015

4 1/2 Stars - Heartbreaking beautiful. A touching story that will stay with me.

I just finished the 7 hours audiobook, perfect narrated by Victor Slezak, and I'm stunned. Completely stunned.. and impressed. The last part was magnificently emotional. I couldn't otherwise than to bump it up to five stars.

Rainwater is maybe not a book in Sandra Brown's (my favorite this spring) most common style. More a historical novel — set in between WWI and WWII— than a suspense romance fr
May 11, 2016 Keri rated it it was amazing
*sigh*, what to say without giving too much away. This was a touching heartfelt little book. You can tell that Sandra wrote with her heart with this one instead of what a contract states she should write. It was a romance, pure and simple, but it was more about the struggles of a woman alone with a child in hard-baked Texas in 1934. It also touches on how children with autism were treated. Racism and bigotry were also brought to the forefront. I won't mention the romance, because it is really so ...more
Sep 29, 2014 Mo rated it really liked it
This was different from other Sandra Brown books I have read. It was a lovely story.

Ella Barron, a single Texas mother, built a careful life running a boarding house in the Depression-era cotton South. But when a mysterious stranger takes a free room, he also takes Ella’s careful life apart.

“Even knowing the ending was sad, I wouldn't have deprived myself the beauty of the story. Would you?"

The subject matter was based on some family history in the author’s life.

She had her life in caref
It was 1934 and the Depression beat at the heart of America. Ella Barron, a mother, was trying to make ends meet while taking in boarders. From dawn to dusk, she was always working. Washing, hanging out clothes to dry, cooking, baking, sweeping, polishing, the list went on and on. And she was always tired.

Her son, Solly, was never far from her thoughts. He was her gift even though he had a brain disorder. The family doctor tried to convince Ella to institutionalize him. In some ways her son had
♡Karlyn P♡
Warning! This book will rip your heart out in a good way. Not a traditional romance but there is a great love story. I cried both happy and sad tears for hours when I finished it. And it was worth it.
Jean Coldwell
Mar 28, 2016 Jean Coldwell rated it it was amazing
Rain. Life-giving. Life-sustaining. It brings relief to sunbaked earth, parched throats, and withered spirits. Sandra Brown’s Rainwater is set in a small Texas town in 1934 amidst the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and the heat of racial tension. One day seems much like another. When dark clouds appear, they bring thunder with very little moisture.

Ella Barron toils 24-7 running a boarding house to provide for herself and Solly, her 10-year-old developmentally challenged son. She is a caring, f
Dale Harcombe
Feb 20, 2015 Dale Harcombe rated it it was amazing
The novel opens in an antique shop with a couple admiring a pocket watch that is not for sale. However the owner tells the story which takes the reader then back to 1934, where the town of Gilead is suffering as many others are in The Great Depression. In Gilead, Ella runs a boarding house and cares for her ten year old son, Solly. These days he would be classified as autistic. Back then he is referred to by some as,’ not right in the head.’ Ella struggles with caring for Solly, day to day livin ...more
Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day)
This was my first Sandra Brown and from what I've heard, Rainwater is quite a departure from her usual writing style. I can't really comment on that, but Sandra Brown's prose in this book is really beautiful and inviting!

My opinion
Rainwater starts at an antique shop run by an old man. Two visitors are quite entranced by the eclectic selection of collectors' delights that meet their eyes. At one point, they notice the pocket watch on the shop owner's wrist, and express their interest to buy it. T
Dec 23, 2009 Melissa rated it really liked it
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, 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 no
Tracy Walters
Jul 15, 2011 Tracy Walters rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such a sweet and endearing little is hard not to love the Ella and David, the main characters in this book. The story is based in the depression era and the many difficulties people had to deal with and a small boarding house and it's occupants. It is touching to see how love develops between Ella and David but it also stings the heart when the outcome is not what you would wish to happen........the ending is bittersweet and there is a chance it will bring tears to your eye ...more
Oct 05, 2015 Nikoleta rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Τέξας στα τέλη της δεκαετίας του ’30. Οικονομική ύφεση, ανεργία, φτώχεια και έντονη ξηρασία. Το καλοκαίρι είναι αποπνικτικό για την Ελλα, που η ζωή της είναι αφιερωμένη στην μικρή πανσιόν της και τον μικρό αυτιστικό γιο της. Δεν έχει κάτι να περιμένει κ η αλήθεια είναι ότι δεν περιμένει κατι, έχει αφεθεί, νομίζει ότι είναι αυτάρκης. Έτσι ένα πρωί απροσδόκητα μπαίνει στη ζωή της ο κ. Ρεινγουοτερ (νερό βροχής). Ο κ. Ρεινγουοτερ πεισματάρης, ηθικός και πάνω από όλα ατρόμητος, ανακουφίζει και ανακατ ...more
Dec 19, 2009 Diane rated it it was amazing
Shelves: a-favorite-read
In this touching historical novel Ella Barron runs a boarding house in Gilead, Texas. It is 1934, the Great Depression, drought, poverty and people are losing their homes. Life has not been easy for Ella. She has a ten year-old son Solly, who is prone to outbursts and in today's terms would be called autistic. One day the local doctor visits Ella with David Rainwater, who is hoping to rent a room. The thing is Mr. Rainwater is terminally ill, and Ella is not sure that she can handle any more str ...more
Aug 20, 2011 Diana rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Audiobook narrated by Victor Slezak

I had decided to pass on Rainwater when it was first published because I'd been warned that it was ultimately a sad story. I'm glad that I gave up trying to resist the wonderful Brown/Slezak pairing. This is a profoundly touching story, reminding us that hard times bring out the worst and the best in us.
May 28, 2015 Tanya rated it really liked it
Very, very good read!!! I love Sandra Brown, and I've read almost all her books not until recently did I discover this one, thanks to Mo, it was nothing like any of her books. A lovely and charming story!
All I can say is this: a Sandra Brown novel with no explicit sex. This is the end of the world as we know it.
Mia Prasetya
Rainwater, novel terbaru Sandra Brown yang baru bulan lalu diterbitkan Gramedia sudah menarik perhatian saya sejak pre-release. Cover bukunya yang tidak seperti cover Sandra Brown pada umumnya yang menampilkan wajah wanita, alih alih Rainwater malah menggambarkan ladang rumput keemasan dan rumah dari kejauhan. Terlebih lagi lebih dari dua kali saya baca kalau novel Rainwater adalah novel Sandra Brown yang lain dari biasanya.

Rainwater mengambil setting tahun 1934 di kota kecil Texas saat-saat era
Feb 01, 2010 Linda rated it really liked it
In 1934 Ella Barron owns and operates a boarding house in Gilead, Texas. The depressed economy is affecting many lives and she must keep her boarding house full in order to provide for herself and her mentally ill son, Solly. When the local Dr. asks her if a distant relative of his could rent her one vacant room, she agrees. Her new boarder, David Rainwater, is handsome and intelligent and takes an immediate interest in Solly. As David spends time with Solly day after day, Ella begins to realize ...more
Apr 13, 2011 Keith rated it really liked it
This is a touching novel of a time gone by. The setting is the small town of Gilead in rural Texas during the great depression and the dust bowl drought of the 1930’s. Ella Barron is a determined and hard working young single mother who runs a boarding house of “high standards” with deep roots in the community. These are hard times for everyone but they are particularly difficult for Ella, not only because financial failure is a daily possibility but in addition, her only child is afflicted with ...more
Mar 29, 2010 Karen rated it it was ok
This book is nicely written. I stumbled across it and I understand the author is pretty prolific. However, I think the plot is more suited for a novella. It has more meat than a short story...but not enough for a book. It takes place in the south during the depression era. Ella runs a boarding house and has a son Solly who is likely autistic. As expected.....a new boarder appears, a tall, handsome, lanky man names "Rainwater" who is dying of a terminal illness. There is a side plot about the cam ...more
Dec 12, 2009 Sheryl rated it liked it
I'm always tickled when I come across a book that I know nothing about, purchase and read it on a whim and wind up enjoying it a good amount or better, and can then bring it to the attention of others.

"Rainwater" is by Sandra Brown, who, from my understanding writes mostly in the genre of mystery and suspense. This was written between contractual obligations, inspired in part by her father's life during the Depression in the Texas dustbowl.

It is a well, smoothly written, throughly intersting, at
May 15, 2014 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: sweeter-reads
This was a very enjoyable book, my first one by Sandra Brown. I like how the book started and ended in the antique shop, with the store owner telling the couple the story about his mom and his pocketwatch.

At first the story seemed slow but then later on it blossomed into a beautiful, bittersweet love story that grabbed my attention and I didn't want to put the book down.
Sep 07, 2011 SaN~ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, romance, touching
Salah satu buku SB favorit. Bener2 lain daripada yg lain dan berasa ky lagi baca bukunya CA krn agak2 depreso crtnya. Walopun dari awal uda tau kalo buku ini bakal sad ending tp ga mengurangi ketertarikan gw buat ngelanjutinnya. Alur ceritanya bagus dan sungguh sangat menyentuh. Suka dengan semua karakter2nya, terutama David. Bener2 luar biasa pengorbanan seorang David utk orang2 yg bole dibilang baru dikenalnya. Untuk kisah cinta David dan Ella walaupun singkat tapi mengena banget di hati. Top ...more
Sep 28, 2010 Jacqueline rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: regular fiction readers
I learned a lot about the depression that I didn't know even though I consider myself pretty well aware of the history of that time period. The portrait drawn of the times and the people who lived through them was extremely vivid. The characterization was wonderful. They kind of just gently knocked on the door of your mind and stepped inside. Before you knew it you were totally vested in them. You'll probably cry. I did. But so worth it.
Nov 16, 2009 Trudy rated it really liked it
This book was quite different from Sandra Brown's often lusty love stories. This one was set in 1930 during the Texas Dust Bowl. It was very slow at first and I had to force myself to remain interested, however it was well worth my effort. It is a story of a mother's unending love for her child, the passionate love between a man and a woman,the love and care of a community for each other and those less fortunate than themselves. Beautiful book.
Dec 30, 2009 Debbie rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! The time period was interesting to read about and the hardships women faced then. To read about a boy with autism and the courage the mother took to keep him with her was wonderful. Most were institutionalized then and I commend her for not doing so. Mr. Rainwater was such a sweetheart and knew how to give of himself to others. Definitely a must read for all.
Dara S.
Sep 25, 2010 Dara S. rated it it was amazing
I was going to give this 4 stars, but the last 20 pages bumped it up to 5. I guess, I love what I am affectionately going to call sappy love stories. This the second one I have read in the last month and gave both 5 stars. I wish there was more to the story.
Jul 14, 2014 Theresa rated it it was amazing
The story unfolds in an old antique shop where a young couple is purchasing some antiques from the old man running the store. They stop to admire is solid gold time piece that he is wearing and ask if it is for sale. He says no, it will never be for sale and then he starts to tell the story of where the watch came from.

This novel is set in the Depression Era, in a small town. Dr. Kincaid brings a Mr. Rainwater to Ella Barron’s boarding house to rent a room. She knows nothing about him except tha
Anne OK
Nov 09, 2009 Anne OK rated it it was amazing
A beautiful story - one that will stay with me for a long time to come. Nothing like anything Sandra Brown has ever written before. Warning: You'll need lots of kleenex!
Apr 09, 2015 Relyn rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: someone looking for a love story with a strong sense of place.
Shelves: audiobooks
I read this book on accident. Sort of.

I don't remember buying it, borrowing it, or ripping it into my iTunes. But, the last time I looked for a book to listen to, this one was available. I had it listed as a book by Sandra Dallas. I love Sandra Dallas, and let me tell you, I was excited to discover that I had a book of hers I hand't read. Turns out, this is a book by Sandra Brown. I decided to go ahead and give it a try, and I loved it. Apparently this is a big departure from her standard fare,
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sanda Brown Super...: Rainwater 4 10 Apr 15, 2015 10:15AM  
Joyce's Reading Log: Rainwater by Sandra Brown 1 3 Oct 31, 2014 07:54AM  
Novel People Of E...: November's Selection is Rainwater 3 4 Oct 15, 2014 12:33PM  
  • The Outsider
  • Whispers of Heaven
  • Where There Is Evil
  • Blue Bayou (The Callahan Brothers, #1)
  • One Ranger
  • Texas Destiny (Leigh Brothers Texas Trilogy, #1)
  • The Water Children
  • The Heart Breaker (Rocky Mountain, #2)
  • Lion's Bride
  • The Way Home
  • The Endearment
  • Without Words
  • A Bird On Water Street
  • Friday Mornings at Nine
  • Ride the Fire (Blakewell/Kenleigh Family Trilogy, #3)
  • The Lady's Companion
  • Quiet Meg (Regency Trilogy, #1)
  • Conor's Way
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Sandra Brown is the author of more than sixty New York Times bestsellers, including FRICTION (2015), MEAN STREAK (2014), DEADLINE(2013), LOW PRESSURE (2012), LETHAL (2011), & TOUGH CUSTOMER (2010).

Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over
More about Sandra Brown...

Share This Book

“Even knowing the ending was sad, I wouldn't have deprived myself the beauty of the story.” 82 likes
“Ella almost cried out in relief upon seeing him. Conrad released her hand and spun around to see who’d interrupted his bullying. “Afternoon,” 1 likes
More quotes…