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3.41  ·  Rating details ·  254 ratings  ·  40 reviews


Set in provincial Australia in the early sixties, Rain is a multigenerational family saga that chronicles the lives of three generations of the Wallin sawmilling dynasty. It explores the often difficult but enduring ties between mothers and da
Paperback, 316 pages
Published March 17th 2011 by Vivante Publishing (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  254 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Mimi Barbour
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
First, I looked up "Rain" on Leigh Cunningham's website and saw the wonderful awards--winner of the Literary Fiction category at the 2011 Indie Excellence Awards, and a silver medal at the 2011 Independent Publisher Awards (IPPY) in the Regional Fiction: Australia/New Zealand category. So, I thought it would be a really good choice to buy and read. Turns out I was absolutely, one hundred percent right.
This family saga began to draw me in from the first page, and by the end of the first chapter,
Jan 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Rain is at the top of my list of favourite books of the year. It's the kind of the book that leaves a lasting impression and I've often found myself thinking of the characters while sitting on the train on my way to work.

This book brought out so many emotions in me and for me, that's a sign of a good book. I love books that can make me feel for the characters and be in the moment with them rather than just reading and observing.

I also really enjoyed the Australian setting.

This book is a "must
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
That Rain is set in rural Australia was the main reason I accepted this novel for review from expat author Leigh Cunningham. Sisters Helen and Grace are heiresses to their fathers successful small town sawmill business. While Helen enjoys working with her father, Grace, lively and beautiful, wants more than their country town can offer her and escapes to Sydney to pursue her own success, leaving behind her ambitious boyfriend. Spurned, Michael Baden decides to turn his attention to the plainer H ...more
Ron Fritsch
Apr 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Rain, Leigh K. Cunningham's first novel for adult readers, is a page-turning story of three generations in a small-town Australian family during forty turbulent years from 1965 to 2005.

The tale mostly, but not exclusively, revolves around a second-generation mother, Helena, and her third-generation daughter, Carla. Even as they deny they need to, they give their lives to the men and boys who are their fathers, sons, brothers, and lovers—and receive in return enormous grief.

And yet this is no min
Apr 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Filled with themes of struggle, loss, and triumph, "Rain" portrays a family through the decades. From the 1960s to the mid-2000s, this journey of one family living in rural Australia is a testament to survival in the face of extremes.

A fire in the mill owned by the Wallin family is only the beginning of what seems like a trail of grief. The theme of rain peppers the pages, too; not just the seasonal rains that bring devastation but the symbolic rain of grief and loss.

But the rains can also remin
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh Wow! Brilliant writing of a despairing saga. So many socio-economic factors makeup the characters in this book. Heartbreaking and uplifting, by turns. I loved the writing in this book!
David Darling
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read Rain, Leigh K. Cunningham's first work of fiction for adult readers, knowing it wasn’t a romance novel, even if it dealt with the romantic affairs of several women in an Australian family in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

Rain is a clear-eyed account of those affairs, boldly telling us why the women do what they do and why the men they fall in love with mostly fail them.

And yet, even as Helena, her daughter Carla, and the other women in Rain err romantically, Cunningh
Jun 04, 2012 rated it liked it
I'm divided on this one. The story is a downer. More of a downer than any I have ever read. I kept expecting something positive to happen but it didn't. Just when you think it's getting better for the character, they are hit with something even more terrible. I guess life is like that sometimes but why would I want to read about that?

It's often difficult to read because it's written in a very old fashioned English...and Australian English at that. It gets better as we get into the 70's and out o
Lori Tatar
Dec 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
"Rain" is a great book, spanning several generations of what seems to be very bad luck for an Australian family. It is emotional and visceral, a tale of love and loss. The story is told third-person at times, at others through letters and even through journal entries. With a lot of narrative, it carries the reader along at a quick pace to an unexpected ending, more sweet than bitter. ...more
Paulette Ponte
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book, but I have to say that there was very little happiness to be found in this family saga. It seems that every character was doomed to a life of disappointment and hardship. I have to admit that this is the kind of story I like at times but if you don't like having awful things happening all the time pick another book. ...more
Jun 03, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned

Maybe I haven't given this enough pages yet, but I am abandoning it for now. The writing style is pretentious, archaic and disjointed. The narrative started out nowhere and kept going in circle, nowhere. It was a big disappointment for my expectations because of all the Indie awards it received. I'll try it again this winter, perhaps.
susan murray
Dec 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing

May 11, 2012 rated it did not like it
Dreadful, depressing, entirely unlikeable characters who behave horribly to one another, and just when it seems like the misery will let up, more misery follows. Couldn't force myself to finish it, and I rarely ever leave a book partially read. Just dreadful. ...more
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Loved loved! Downloaded to my kindle in Bali after hating the Hunger Games and Wicked. Got through this in less than a week. Sad characters but I could NOT put it down! Totally riveting!
Heidi Graham
Nov 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Started a little slow but great read overall.
Dec 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: won-on-goodreads
Alot going on in this book, but I did enjoy it.
Dec 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read RAIN in practically one sitting. It's not happy reading, but certainly compelling. If you like stories that tear at your heart, then you will love RAIN. ...more
Jun 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Very dark, but hard to put down.
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Story of an Australian family through a three generations. Fascinating tale of family curses (real and imagined) and the struggle for survival of the soul. Well written, touching and very enjoyable.
Busy Mom
May 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very interesting story but kind of sad ending.
Nov 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
I must admit I did not like the book. The most I can say the lecture was average, as was the writing style. I appreciate the passion of the author for revealing all the wrongs of the world we happen to live in. But it seems to be highly unlikely that the bad fortune does not spare any member of the family. Nearly every page brings new calamity, more and more dramatic and more and more unreal in its extent but lacking the true meaning and depth. I just got very bored reading Rain. I think when so ...more
Sep 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a provisional five star as the book is not perfect and I reserve the right to change my mind. I thought it struggled just a little bit at the beginning. But after that it knocked my socks off. Good story, good characters, good writing, a deep sense of meaning.... Sympathy for the main characters was a bit of a problem at the beginning, but this quickly resolved itself.

This is a story about a profoundly dysfunctional family, serial tragedy, and the ability to get through all that (mostly)
Jun 22, 2012 rated it did not like it
I guess I couldn't expect much from a Kindle/Amazon free e-book. While the characters were intriguing and I wanted to believe in the story happening around them, it was just unrealistically depressing and continuously hopeless. I am not a hater of sadness by ANY means, this would be the kind of book that I'd feel empowered by... If it hadn't ended with 100 loose ends. Also, the writer really did not allow much connection to the characters, it felt like all of the characters were still strangers ...more
Jun 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: on-kindle
Hoping it's better than some of it's reviews!
Well now that I've finished it I am at a crossroads with my rating. Don't read this if you are feeling depressed! The family portrayed in this novel seems to be the model for the term "dysfunctional".
I like Cunningham's style and thought the structure of the story was excellent and perhaps this is why I'm giving it 3 stars. My only complaint in that respect was that as an Australian who has lived in the US for over 20 years, naming the small town whe
Cheryl Turoczy Hart
Jan 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Had this book on my iPad for my Australia/NZ trip last year but didn't get around to it. (I always try to have a novel or two set in the locales I visit when I am traveling). Started reading it on my way to Galapagos. I was not initially very impressed with it but the farther I read, the more I am enjoying it. The tale of a family, with all of the ups and downs of life, takes place mostly in the small town of Maine, near Sydney. Complex and very flawed characters abound and seem very real. ...more
Dec 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
I don't think my review is fair because I didn't finish the book...I just couldn't get through it. The story seemed ok although I didn't care for how it jumped around so much. My main issue is her writing. I think that because she is from Australia, I had a hard time following her words and staying interested :( ...more
Jo McAlpine
Nov 02, 2012 rated it liked it
This book drew me in early, the complexity of the characters and storylines made for a great read. It was a little too tragic in places and at least one of the storylines remained unfinished. There were quite a few spelling mistakes as well (common place names)so editing required. Overall though, It only took me a few days to read and was well worth it.
Apr 25, 2012 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Let's hope that this book is better than the last one. Not that Riversong was bad, but not well-written. And I'm rarely one who criticizes a writing style or quality. Rain, however, has won some awards. Keeping my fingers crossed!
Jan 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Just enough interest to keep me reading.....I finished because I was hoping the continual depressive tone of the story would improve, giving you a triumph over adversity ending. I'm not quite sure that's what it was. ...more
Jan 24, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It started off slow and wasn't that interesting. The further I got in the book, the more interesting it became. The ending was very abrupt and left a lot of unanswered questions. I am hoping the author plans a sequel in the future. ...more
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From the Author 1 9 Nov 16, 2011 05:07PM  

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Leigh K Cunningham is a lawyer with a career as a senior executive for a number of public companies in her home country of Australia. She has three master’s degrees in law (Master of International Trade & Investment Law) and commerce (Master of Commerce) and an MBA (International Management) where she graduated as ‘Top Student’.

Now a full-time writer, Leigh has won seven awards for her four title

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