Joan Adamak's Reviews > The Rain Before it Falls

The Rain Before it Falls by Jonathan Coe
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Aug 14, 12

Read in August, 2012

It Takes More Than Love to Hold a Relationship Together

This is a non-fiction memoir of the love between the author, Luisita, and Elizabeth Blake Whitney, who eventually divorced her husband after meeting Luisita. As editor on the Foreign Desk, Luisita helped reporters by editing their reports and making them more interesting and readable. Elizabeth, hired as a rookie reporter for overseas reporting, spent much time with Luisita, learning from Luisita’s editing. From the time they met, Luisita was interested in Elizabeth, having been at loose ends for several months after a former relationship soured.

Being assigned mostly to southeast Asia, eventually Elizabeth landed the Manila/Philippines area after Marcos had been ejected and Cory Aquino installed. By that time, Luisita and Elizabeth had become interested in each other and since it seemed that Elizabeth would be spending many months in Manila, Luisita took a year’s absence from her job and flew to Manila to be with Elizabeth. She also intended to support herself by writing a book, but she never really settled down to do that. For the next year, the two women got to know each other, or thought they did, and thrived in the excitement of the rebellion of the Philippines, finding new places to rent, shopping for furniture and socializing often with other foreign reporters. They never lived together as a normal every day hum-drum life. Luisita was more aggressive in pushing the relationship, while Elizabeth wasn’t sure about divorcing her husband.

After a year, Luisita had to return to her job in the States because she needed to support herself and couldn’t find any overseas job. They phoned each other constantly and wrote long letters. Elizabeth was the more reticent of the two in the relationship, but eager, active and fun whether on the job or in a group. Luisita, when dissatisfied with her work (which was most of the time when she couldn’t get back overseas as a reporter, moped, gradually alienating herself from Elizabeth and refused to take heed of Elizabeth’s complaints, although she knew she was unhappy.

This story, well written, demonstrates that many of the same problems that destroy heterosexual relationships, also does so with same sex relationships for the same reasons. Luisita spends much of her time in the book in retrospect of their relationship, but never seemed to realize that perhaps she remained extremely stubborn in her self-pity until it drove Elizabeth away.

Many women, especially, I think, will truly enjoy this book because it simply and clearly shows what can tear apart any relationship when more maturity is not exercised. I recommend it to all readers who enjoy this type of love story.

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