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I Will Send Rain

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  2,407 ratings  ·  551 reviews
A luminous, tenderly rendered novel of a woman fighting for her family's survival in the early years of the Dust Bowl; from the acclaimed and award-winning Rae Meadows.

Annie Bell can't escape the dust. It's in her hair, covering the windowsills, coating the animals in the barn, in the corners of her children's dry, cracked lips. It's 1934 and the Bell farm in Mulehead, Okl
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published August 9th 2016 by Henry Holt and Co.
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Tom Potter Samuel wasn't building a boat for an anticipated second flood "to destroy the world." He thought they would need it for a few days. His flood wasn't o…moreSamuel wasn't building a boat for an anticipated second flood "to destroy the world." He thought they would need it for a few days. His flood wasn't one of Biblical proportions.(less)
Lynda Fred. The only one who was pure. He was selfless, without guile, without sin.

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Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,407 ratings  ·  551 reviews

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Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-stars-books
5 " tender, compassionate, lyrical " stars !!!

2016 Honorable Mention Read with High Distinction

"Sometimes at first light Annie could hear the wind roll over the plain and she could imagine it was the soft rustle of a sea of wheat. She remembered dew sliding down blades of buffalo grass and collecting in honeysuckle flowers and slippery under bare feet before dawn. Mornings like a juicy pear."

Ms Meadows has created a beautiful and poignant story of a family struggling to survive, love and liv
I Will Bring Rain written by a goodreads friend of mine Rae Meadows is the story of the homesteading Bell family of Mulehead, Oklahoma. Set during the beginning of the dust bowl, I Will Bring Rain is a tale of bleak existence sprinkled with hope in a small community where people had moved with the promise of farming their own land. It is a story of perseverance during a difficult era in our nation's history, which I rate 3.75 stars.

Samuel and Annie Bell had moved to Mulehead along with the Ford
Angela M
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
5 stars!

"There had been no rain for seventy-two days and counting. The mercury would climb past a hundred today and no doubt again tomorrow." I would not have been able to imagine this, if not for how Rae Meadows swept me up into this place and time - Mulehead, Oklahoma in the 1930's , where there's drought and the dust is as heavy as the burdens of the people who live there . There's darkness when the dust comes and blocks the sun and then even when the sun comes back , darkness remains in betw
Aug 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Dust, devastation, doom, departure. These are four of the many words describing the Dust Bowl of 1930's Oklahoma. Samuel Bell, a former tenant farmer, moves with new wife Annie to a homestead in Oklahoma. Living first in a dugout, the couple painstakingly build their future home and raise a family. In alternating voices we learn how Samuel, Annie, teenage daughter Birdie, and son Fred handle the havoc wrought by lack of rain, resultant crop failure and punishing dust storms.

Samuel Bell, the patr
Iris P
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys historical fiction
I Will Send Rain

★★★★ ½ Stars

"The storm took place at sundown, it lasted through the night,
When we looked out next morning, we saw a terrible sight.
We saw outside our window where wheat fields they had grown
Was now a rippling ocean of dust the wind had blown."

From the song "The Great Dust Storm"
Words and Music by Woody Guthrie


To me the best historical fiction novels are those that strive to sketch a vivid picture of the period when the story is set,
Larry H
Aug 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love it when a book slowly takes you by surprise, as you realize what on the surface seemed like a fairly simple story dazzles you with emotion and beauty of its telling, when a story about a family tested by difficult times and tragedy reveals its richness, layer by layer. Rae Meadows' newest book, I Will Send Rain , is definitely one of those books.

The town of Mulehead, Oklahoma, as with many towns in the Great Plains region of the U.S. in the mid-1930s, cannot escape the drought. It's wr
Elyse  Walters
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
"In two years, things had gone from good to broken for the Bells. They use to
sit on the porch at the end of the day and he would dance like a chicken, his elbows
out like wings, and Pop would laugh. Now at night all his father did was look at the sky
and look at his bible and not talk and not talk some more".

Fred doesn't talk either...( literally)... He is 8 years old, mute....and sick due to the dust and storms. I loved this child ...youngest in the family. He's very observant- has a great hea
Diane S ☔
Jun 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Grim and relentless. Oklahoma, the dust bowl, early 1930's, the dust keeps coming and coming, covering everything in its path. The Bell family, father Samuel can only watch as his crops are devastated, all his hard work for naught. Annie, the mother, still young herself, watching as her hopes and dreams of a better life are covered over. Birdie, fifteen, in love with a local boy and young Freddie, unable to talk and suffering from a lung ailment. Memorable characters all, but I identified with F ...more
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Since I still think about this book, and these people, I am going from 4 to a 5 review :) This is about a family, the Bell's, in Oklahoma, during the Dust Bowl years, the terrible losses for the farmers and their families. It was a book of hope and faith. Very good! ...more
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
This novel is set during the Dust Bowl in the 1930s, but the characters were so true that the story felt timeless.

I've long been fascinated by this period of American history, and even though the novel is about a homesteading family and their struggles during the post-Depression drought, reading this book was a welcome escape from our fraught modern times.*

I slipped easily into this story, in which we meet the Bell family: mother Annie, father Samuel, teenage daughter Birdie, and young son Fred.
There were dust everywhere in Mulehead, Oklahoma when the drought of 1934 brought dark clouds rolling over the land and dumped migrating soil down instead of rain. It first covered the heat-scorched fields, then the homes, then their souls, and finally the secrets of the Bell family.

The neighboring farmers who had the guts, took off to a better life somewhere else, far away from the Dust Bowl, but others chose to stay and believe that everything will be better when the rains come. For Samuel Be
Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
This story is about the Bell family living in Oklahoma during the 1930’s. They are a family of four learning to survive during The Dust Bowl. Annie and Sam Bell married young. Together, they built a farm and are raised two children, Birdie and Fred. They are barely surviving and their community is teetering. Families are packing up and leaving for work elsewhere.

Each member of the Bell family are internally suffering while waiting out this disaster. Annie is unsatisfied with her life choices an
Diane Barnes
Jun 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
A while back I saw the Ken Burns documentary on the dust bowl, with pictures and footage of those great clouds of dust rolling over the prairie. It was interesting and informative, as his productions always are. The facts were astounding, the losses of farms and lives, coming on top of the depression as it did, I thought to myself, "How did they stand it?"

This book tells us how they stood it, some of them who stayed. It also goes further into why and how, one day at a time. The author makes us f
Cathrine ☯️
Jul 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
In 1930s Oklahoma the hopes and dreams of the Bell family are eroding from mega sandstorms, buried by the dirt invading their homes and lungs. The winds running free across the plains bring only devastation to their livestock, crops, and hearts. When the things that give meaning and purpose to life are disappearing and there is little left to take, what can bring release and fulfillment? How the individual family members nurture hope in the midst of despair is at the heart of this story. It
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Life was mostly about remembering or waiting, Birdie thought. Remembering when things were better, waiting for things to get better again. There was never a now, never a time when you said, "This is it."

Rae Meadows' newest book, I Will Send Rain, is an absorbing tale of of life in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl of the 1930's. Her writing is so atmospheric, I felt the heat bearing down, the wind blowing all around, and wanted to wipe the dusty grime from my clothes and face.

While the novel provid
Compassionately written story about a family that has drifted apart. Set during the Dust Bowl, the family's troubles are heightened by the hostile and unpredictable environment. This book doesn't come out until August 9, but I wanted to share some vague initial thoughts, because I loved it so much!

The writing is beautiful and the setting was completely immersive. I got the same sense of time and place that I get from a John Steinbeck or Harper Lee novel. The hostility of the environment and the
LeAnne: GeezerMom
May 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This setting was like nothing Ive experienced in a book. A boiling tsunami of black-brown dust comes barreling at you across the plain, leaving drifts like snow afterward and dusting your tooth brush with grit, even your sheets and dishes in the cupboard.

And then another one comes. And another - with no rain for so many months that even the weeds blow away, leaving starving rabbits to chew fence posts in desperation. Crows with no vegetation to build nests resort to using bits of barbed wire, r
May 29, 2016 rated it really liked it

I was intrigued by this novel after reading Timothy Egan’s “The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl.” Set in Oklahoma during the early years of the Dust Bowl, “I Will Send Rain” is a wonderful portrait of one family and their community trying to survive those times.

The small town where they live is struggling already, last year’s crops were meager, and the economic impact of the Depression is felt by everyone. The men need a solution to their imm
Paulette Jiles' Stormy Weather was the book that first got me interested in the Dust Bowl of the 1930's (or maybe if I go waaay back it was The Grapes of Wrath). This one didn't have as much going on as in the Jiles book, but it gives us plenty. The focus stayed on the Bell family in rural Oklahoma, barely making a living during severe drought. Other families have already given up and fled to California, but the Bells are remaining hopeful that rain will come, despite the invasions of dust, gras ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I haven't read a novel set during The Dust Bowl since my junior year in high school, where we read, of course, The Grapes of Wrath. And while other families are abandoning the region for California in this novel and in the Steinbeck, the central family on the Bell farm is staying put. Their entire lives have been here, from dugout to farm. The descriptions of the dust storms and the choices between killing livestock for $1/head or letting them starve, the effect on morale (and morality, it seems ...more
Aug 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
Morose, maudlin, misery. YA level writing. Chick lit. supreme. I'm shocked at the ratings here.

Fred seemed real. All the others were soap opera cut outs, not Oakies. This author didn't know her place or her culture for this place.

The ending!

Fred seemed defined, and he was the ultimate winner in this one. The women!

Karen R
Jul 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Life was mostly about remembering or waiting, Birdie thought. Remembering when things were better, waiting for things to get better again.”

Welcome to the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s. There has been no rain in 72 days when this book begins, the temperatures consistently over 100 degrees. Things don’t bode well for the citizens in farming community Mulehead, Oklahoma, as crops and livestock are quickly diminishing. Farmer Samuel Bell and his family are whom this book centers around. Samuel’s wife Ann
Aug 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very well done novel told from various points of view. Research of the dust bowl was nicely presented without throwing facts at you. It was woven subtly throughout the book. Little tough on the heart but worth the read.
♥ Sandi ❣
4.25 stars

This is a story of escape. The Bell family wants to escape the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma in 1934, so that their farm will prosper. Annie wants to escape boredom. Samuel wants to escape failure. Birdie wants to escape a future of what her parents have. Freddie finds the greatest escape of all. This is a story of hope, a story of resilience and a story of love. Each member of the family chooses their own path, steadfast, immature, immoral and hopeful, but through it all love remains.

Nov 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.”

----Chuck Palahniuk

Rae Meadows, an award winning author, pens a heart wrenching story about a farm family in her new novel, I Will Send Rain that centers around the Bell family who have migrated to Oklahoma but gradually they get caught up in the fierce dust storms that disrupted their farm harvest, their health, their dreams and also their relationship among one another, but the woman of the family tries to hold her famil
The Bell family and their neighbors of Mulehead, Oklahoma are doing all they can to survive the Dust Bowl years. Annie, Samuel and their children Birdie and Fred scrap by with a few remaining crops in the field, a few chickens and a milking cows. Birdie daydreams of running away with her boyfriend Cy to a more exciting location. Fred, mute and suffering from asthma is a sweet boy always on the hunt for adventure. But the endless dust is taking it's tole, both physically and emotionally. Annie an ...more
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Perhaps closer to 3.5 but I'm rounding up because the writing in this book is so strong. There's some irony in describing a Dust Bowl-setting novel as "rich" but that's the best word. Meadows drew me into the beauty and struggle of Mulehead, OK from the first pages. I immediately cared about the Bell family and what lay ahead (and behind) for them.

“Beneath the damage she can still find moments of wonder, hints of joy. Would she even say she is optimistic? It isn't the shiny optimism that lifts S
Jul 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Life was mostly about remembering or waiting, Birdie thought. Remembering when things were better, waiting for things to get better again." I think this quote from Rae Meadows novel I Will Send Rain says it all. This novel is about a family living in the Oklahoma panhandle during the time of the Dust Bowl in the 30's. They are remembering the better days and waiting for God to bring them rain. Well, Samuel is because he is a man of faith, but a man so entrenched in his faith he cannot see his f ...more
Kirk Smith
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a book with big dreams. When your luck is pretty much in the dust bin, the imagination has a license to roam.***The story pays homage to the history and reality of the Dust Bowl and then brilliantly escapes through the creativity at the heart of each character. A compelling story with nuanced details of the period. I learned a few things about my home state as well. Every word of the last two chapters is emotionally charged. Finished well! I learned new uses for baling and barbed wire.
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not a new review- I just felt guilty not giving it the full 5*s it deserved-sorry
4-5*s This was , IMO, a powerfully written story with memorable characters that the reader comes to care deeply for.

Read the stellar reviews written by Taryn, Larry H, Diane S, and Suzanne Leopold !!!
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Rae Meadows is the author of Calling Out, which received the 2006 Utah Book Award for fiction, No One Tells Everything, a Poets & Writers Notable Novel, and the widely praised novel, Mercy Train (in hardcover as Mothers and Daughters). Her fourth novel, I Will Send Rain, was an Indie Next pick, received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist, and was shortlisted for ...more

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