Erin's Reviews > Rainwater

Rainwater by Sandra Brown
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133202
's review
Jan 30, 10

bookshelves: historical, romance
Read from January 27 to 30, 2010

I've never read Sandra Brown, but I'm told this is a departure from her other suspense novels. In the forward she says that she wrote it between contracted novels as a labor of love, and you can tell. It's a sweet, non-formulaic story with some interesting characters in a unique setting (1930s Dustbowl) that sometimes zigs when i thought it would zag.

Ella, a severely organized, orderly teetotaler, runs a boardinghouse in Texas during the Great Depression. She has an as-yet-undiagnosed autistic son, and she's a bit of an oddity in this little town. One day Mr. Rainwater arrives, a "mysterious stranger" (although not as cliched as it sounds) to rent a room, and in the process shakes up her life and her world view. The book deals with poverty (rampant in an area that hasn't seen rain in years), racism, and feminism in interesting ways. I enjoyed the characters, and at 245 pages, Brown knew when to wrap things up. My biggest issue is the book's villain, who is mustache-twirling evil. It was like Hitler came in and took up residence in this Texas town. A little less "You're gonna regret that, missy!" histrionics, please, Ms. Brown. But the relationship between Rainwater, Ella and Ella's damaged son is very tender, and the story didn't end how I expected it to, and how often does that happen from a famous author like Brown? And I shed a tear or two, which can be a good thing if it's earned. And it was.
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