Oct 23, 10
Read from October 19 to 23, 2010
I grabbed this book as one of many during a $1 clearance sale binge at one of my favorite bookstores. I’d never read Sandra Brown, and I don’t tend to read thrillers/suspense, but the cover and description didn’t look like either. At $1, there was no risk in giving it a try.
The acknowledgments at the beginning of the book note that this one is different than most of Brown’s work. Apparently, that’s true, if she writes thrillers. Rainwater is not a thriller. In fact, it’s very much literary/mainstream fiction.
I was charmed by the old time setting and the ease of the language. The characters are very full and real. Ella, the ‘widowed’ boarding house owner with an autistic son, is immediately likeable and nearly feels like a friend by the time we get to the second chapter.
I did raise my eyebrows a touch at the “Rainwater/autism” bit being a constant reminder of Rain Man. I get the point of it being called that, but I couldn’t shake the similarity. That’s my only criticism of this beautiful novel. It’s political, showing the error of Eisenhower’s cow-purchasing program that was supposed to help farmers not lose their farms in a very real, personal way. It’s optimistic through the days of the depression, which can extend to any time that feels bleak. It shows human error and cruelty, but also human resilience and honor and courage.
This one is highly, highly recommended, even at regular retail price.
Maybe I’ll give one of her “normal” books a try, as well.