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The Boy Who Loved Rain: They say that what you don't know can't hurt you. They're wrong.

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  101 ratings  ·  60 reviews
They say that what you don't know can't hurt you. They're wrong.

Colom had the perfect childhood, the much-loved only child of a church pastor. Yet he wakes screaming from dreams in which his sister is drowning and he can't save her.

Fiona turns to her husband, desperate to help their son. But David will not acknowledge that help is needed--and certainly not help from beyond
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 19th 2014 by Lion Hudson
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4.08  · 
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 ·  101 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Instigative narrative along with pestilent and disarming characters. Quite an intense read leaving you emotionally spent. Kelly creates a novel engaging the reader, bringing on numerous questions as you place yourself in the position of the characters and their delicate circumstances. Impassioned, the secrets dark and deep, very well done.

Kelly certainly succeeded in frustrating this reader to no end. It was challenging being a spectator, so many times I wanted to crawl through the pages and sha
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
This is not a light and fluffy novel, but sometimes I don't want that. I want a book that gives me depth, makes me feel, challenges me and tests me. This I got from The Boy Who Loved Rain.

A book essentially about the damage that secrets can be done to a family, how toxic deception can make or break years of creating a life together. It's painful to read in places, it made me feel a lot of emotions ranging from happiness to anger.

It's a book to sink into and lose yourself, but don't expect a ma
Nov 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
This is one of those books that I liked the idea of, but in reality it turned out to be a bit of a let down.

David Dryden is described as a pastor of a high profile church in London. He seems to base his ministry on family values and bases his preaching on “the family”, instructing his parishioners on how to raise their children. He believes that problems in the family should be dealt with inside the church and without outside help. However, when his son Colom reaches crisis point he seems unable
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Boy Who Loved Rain centres around families, secrets and the ways in which the unknown can effect us.
We firstly meet Colom, who although has seemingly had the perfect childhood, is suffering deeply during his teenage years.
He keeps having horrific dreams that his sister is drowning and he is unable to save her; which is odd in itself as he doesn’t have a sister.
Colom becomes more and more withdrawn, barely leaving his room, getting into difficulty at school and starts to believe that suici
Carole Jarvis
Reviewed at The Power of Words:

The Boy Who Loved Rain by Gerard Kelly is an exquisite novel, atmospheric and emotive, a story that I will eventually take great pleasure in reading again. While I have discovered many outstanding reads in Christian fiction - and occasional rare gems, even - I often bemoan the fact that literary-style writing isn't often found in this genre. And "literary" doesn't mean slow moving and rather boring, as some might think. Instead, this type
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: print-books


Posted originally

The Boy Who Loved Rain told the beautiful, unusual story of Colom, a teenager who is suffering from dreams he can’t understand and secrets he feels are there but has no knowledge of. I found this to be a really moving, unpredictable story and I was captivated by Gerard Kelly’s emotive writing.

Each chapter begins with a quote or a definition of rain, which I found really fascinating. Rain was a mysterious underlying theme in the nov
Jan 30, 2015 rated it liked it
The Boy Who Loved Rain begins with a scary premise: Fiona's teenage son Colom (yep, I agree: what a weird name -- Column? Cuh-LOM?) is troubled, to the degree that he's writing suicide notes and withdrawing from life. But Fiona's husband is the pastor at a high-profile church and doesn't want to get outside help that would sully his reputation. In a panic, Fiona flees with Colom to France where she seeks the advice of a counselor-nun friend. I was interested up to this point.

Then, much of the bo
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The boy who loved rain, will keep you captivated from the beginning when you are introduced to Colom as he is dreaming, of the drowning of a sister, a sister whom he does not have, and it is not the first time he has had this terrifying dream. Colom has issues, and not just those of an average 13 year old. It's more than normal adolescence and is causing problems both at home and at school. He is the son, and only child, of Fiona and David Dryden. David is a church pastor and yet he can not deal ...more
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Wendy by: Goodreads/First Reads
One of the most poignant and emotionally-charged novels which I won through Goodreads/First Reads in 2015 is "The Boy Who Loved Rain" which begins with Colom Dryden a thirteen year old whose unpredictable behaviour has warranted repeated warnings at school. His father a well-known vicar in a London church fears the repercussions of outside counselling and depends on Fiona, Colom's mother to treat the source of his growing instability and constant nightmares. Frustrated not only by her husband's ...more
Jackie Law
Oct 21, 2014 rated it liked it
The Boy Who Loved Rain, by Gerard Kelly, is a story about parenting, teenagers and the difficulties inherent in communicating with those we love. When the truth will hurt it can be hard to confront, especially when a lie has been perpetuated for many years.

Fourteen year old Colum suffers from recurring nightmares that he cannot explain. He feels numb, depressed and harbours suicidal thoughts. Despite an apparently loving and happy childhood he now feels alienated from his parents who put his moo
Beckie Burnham
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
March has found me reading books with pretty heavy subjects. Four books involved abuse of one kind or another, with three involving children. You would think I would be pretty depressed by now, but all of the books have a Christian worldview and writers that care about the subject and their craft. The Boy Who Loved Rain by Gerard Kelly is a beautifully written novel that, while not an easy read, was nevertheless a page-turner and is one of the best books I have read this year.

Colom is a fourteen
Mar 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kayt

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt

The Boy Who Loved Rain is heart wrenching, emotionally charged and punishing on your feeling and thoughts. Gerard Kelly writes with intensity and the reader can sense the pain and anguish in the characters, as well as the exuberance and concern in other characters. Lila Dryden and her husband David face a horrific situation but not together. David is the pastor of a high-profile church in London. Their son Colom is getti
Meagan Myhren-bennett
The Boy Who Loved Rain
By Gerard Kelly

Colom is haunted by a dream. A dream that keeps coming. His sister is drowning and he can't save her. But Colom has never had a sister. But why can't he clear her from this dreams?

Colom's dreams are slowly breaking his family. His behavior attributed to normal adolescent swings is becoming destructive. As he slides deeper into himself his mother determines to save him.

Desperate to save the life of her teenage son Fiona Dryden, makes a decision that she hopes
Julie G
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
Kelly isn't just a fiction writer, he also writes poetry and non-fiction. He's hugely prolific and his interest in poetry is evident throughout the book. However, I'm not sure this is for the best. I kept getting the feeling as I read that this was a first draft. There was so much information provided and so much description that just didn't add to the story or to the quality of writing. I think it's full of great potential, but I didn't feel like it was as polished as it could have been.
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Lion Fiction for having me as part of the blog tour for this book. I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would!

This novel is about Colom, a teenage boy who is having dreams he can’t understand and has secrets he feels are there but has no knowledge of. Colom felt so real and I started to feel like I had to protect him in some way. You root for him throughout the whole book and want him to be able to live a normal teenage life.
I loved that something as simple as rain was the t
Gayle Pace
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it

As you read this book you will find it is a deep book, it will bring about emotions and it will put you to the test.

We all have secrets, some that could be very damaging if brought to the surface. Secrets can be hurtful, not all of the time but usually. They can tear a family apart. I found the book hard to read in places as it angered me. There were other places that put a smile on my face.

The characters are Colom, the teenage son, Fiona, the wife and David Dryden. David pastors a high pr
Cindy Roesel
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“Lies, denial, fabricated histories – these only bury the bruises, sometimes in a place where they can even grow and spread, because no one’s watching them.”

THE BOY WHO LOVED RAIN (LionHudson) by Gerard Kelly is a novel about slowly peeling back deeply hidden layers of shame and exposing secrets and memories that are destined to destroy lives.

Fourteen-year old, Collom keeps waking up screaming to the same nightmare where he’s drowning and can’t save a mysterious girl he knows from the past. His
Maureen Timerman
Mar 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
What a heart wrenching read, people in denial, a mother desperate for help. Where do you go, who do you turn to, she needs to save her son’s life. This is now a sweet romantic book, it deals with a very tough subject, and pray we are never are put in this position.
The author has developed these characters so well, they are so real, and could be any one. A mother so desperate to save the life of her son, a son with recurring nightmares that has him suicidal? There is Fiona the Mom, David Dryden,
May 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Boy Who Loved Rain is not the usual type of book that I read. I like the stories that end in happiness and make me feel good. However, this novel brings about many emotions. They could range from joy to anger. I found that I really enjoyed it. It opened my eyes to the reality of suicide and long buried family secrets which can eventually come to the surface and break someone to the point that one does not know if they can return. Being there myself at times growing up, I was able to relate t ...more
Mar 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
"The Boy Who Loved Rain" is sort of like a flower bud. It opens to us one petal at a time, slowly, very slowly, revealing the beauty inside. This is a very deep, and often slow moving, story written by Gerard Kelly. There is a lot of mystery, most of it because of lies that have been told, many of them used to protect loved ones, but lies nevertheless.

The themes in this book are serious, dealing with teen suicide. Another huge theme is a mother's love! The mother in "The Boy Who Loved Rain"
Paul Alkazraji
Nov 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Gerard Kelly’s debut novel ‘The Boy Who Loved Rain’ revolves around a mother’s struggle to find a road forwards for her adopted son Colom, as she faces up to her own part in his present brokenness. Though it begins in an uneasy place of crisis, with foundation stones of their family history long-hidden, the arc of the story is one of redemption, not easily-achieved, that leaves the reader ultimately warmed with a sense of hope. The two principle locations of Portivy in Brittany and Amsterdam are ...more
Lori Palmer (Palmer's Page Turners)
Read my review on my blog at

This book was so eloquent and so beautiful! It was thought provoking, emotional, and had so much depth. I loved the theme of rain throughout the book--all the rain themed quotes at the beginning of each chapter, and how it all made sense at the very end of the book.

In addition to the beautiful, poetic writing, I absolutely loved the story and the characters. I really felt for Fiona in particular, who was so desperately fighting
Jan 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I wasn't exactly sure what The Boy Who Loved Rain was going to be about and if I was going to like it, but I was pleasantly surprised. The book is mainly about the family dynamic of the Drydens, and though they might seem like a relatively normal family on the surface, they are hiding some events from their pasts that are affecting the well-being of their child. The book was really open in the beginning, and I had no idea where the story was going to be taken. It comes together quite nicely afte ...more
Diane Higgins
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a thought provoking book! This book was good at the beginning but ended up being very exciting towards the middle/end. It had so many twists that I didn't see coming. The author hid those hints until the end. Colom is a pastor's kid who is very troubled. He constantly has problems in school and with life in general. He also consistently has nightmares where he is trying to save his sister. His father, David, a pastor, tries to just ignore Colom and his problem. However, Fiona, David's wife ...more
John Hanscom
Feb 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Actually 4 1/2. It is a wonderfully written book, but what marks it down 1/2 a point is the novel takes about 1/3 of the book to get started. No matter how beautifully an author writes - and this author does - there are only so many ways to say, "The family is in crisis; the son is contemplating suicide; the parents are scared out of their minds and not communicating," before I want to scream, "I get it; move on!!!!!!!!" Then, however, the female protagonist does, and the book is amazing. The au ...more
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. It is haunting and very thought provoking. There are so many questions the novel generates I think it would be great for discussion groups, even though no discussion questions are included. One issue is our past. If we don't know our past, does it still have an effect on us? What about adoption and knowing the history of the child? Is it ever right to keep secrets from your children? How honest should parents be with them? Why do children cut themselves? There are lots ...more
V Luttrell
Mar 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a story about a boy. keeps having horrific dreams that his sister is drowning and he is unable to save her; which is odd in itself as he doesn't have a sister. this is a novel that grips you and makes you want to read it!This is a griping novel that even though at times it can be hard to read, you have to read it through to the end. It does not let go. It made me consider in depth how people might seem normal but ne thinking many things inside of them. This book was really fro me as it s ...more
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I won this book as a Librarything giveaway. This book started slowly but by the end I didn't want to put it down. A great insight into the troubled teenage mind and the impacts on family. The characters were well developed and the prose flowed beautifully. It was evident that the author is also a poet. And picks his words carefully.
Gee  Dixon
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-books, challenge
I started with a slow start to this book and even sat it down and came back to it. Glad I did. Once you start wondering what is next the author takes us around another corner. It teaches us that secrets can and will hurt us even when we are trying to protect the ones we love.

Colon a young boy struggles through losing himself but then find himself again with the help of his parents. The book to me was like reading a good mystery. I would recommend this book to others. I received this book from t
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
An astonishing book, which lays bear raw emotion and the difficulties of being human, living our lives in an interconnected world where everybody is trying to get by and do their best but inevitably hurt others on the road. You can feel the desperation of the central characters, and identify with their struggles, whilst grasping onto hope which is available for both them and us.
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