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Along Came the Rain

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Wynn Larimer would be the first to admit she has a bad memory and that lately it's been getting worse. But that doesn't explain how she has ended up in jail, accused of kidnapping two teenage foster kids. Now she's in the fight of her life to clear her name. Her burning question: who has framed her and why?
Wynn's partner, Barker, is hanging by an emotional thread. Not only are the missing girls her social work clients, but to make matters worse, her beloved Wynn seems to be losing her mind. How can she ensure the girls are brought to safety while dealing with a partner who is increasingly scattered?

Wynn and Barker must race to uncover the truth before Wynn is charged with a serious crime that could imprison her for years. But what will happen to their relationship when both discover things about each other that will change their lives forever?

266 pages, Paperback

First published April 15, 2016

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About the author

Alison R. Solomon

7 books49 followers
Alison grew up in England and lived in Israel and Mexico before settling in the USA. Despite being the proud holder of three passports, she is not on any national or international Wanted list.

Alison’s short stories have been published in the USA and Mexico. As a former clinical social worker, she has presented at conferences worldwide and been published in academic textbooks, anthologies, professional journals, and newspapers on feminism, diversity and mental health.

When she’s not writing, Alison can be found chasing dolphins, messing up her knees because she insists on playing tennis, or planning a road trip with her wife Carol, and their two rescue dogs.

Along Came the Rain is Alison's debut novel.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 29 of 29 reviews
Profile Image for Diane Wallace.
1,131 reviews56 followers
April 4, 2019
'NetGalley ARC provided by The Publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review'

**Good writers are those who keep the language efficient.That is to say,keep it accurate,keep it clear'
Perceptive story!
If anyone ask what is the meaning of the title this book cover then i would really let them know that there is no content or concept just an extension of so much crazy stuff going that readers will never be disappointed with the plot twist or the storyline because there is so much depth plus another thing readers should do is never take their eyes of off certain dates in this story because these plays a huge part in the plotline and during the drama readers will eventually notice how the title of the book end up playing such a the seriousness part-- good pacing,nice research and good information on dementia plus enjoyable topic about the foster care system and all the abuse etc. A very surprising and satisfying to the end. Highly recommend!
Profile Image for Sue.
2,691 reviews170 followers
September 3, 2019
A powerfully written book with so much in. It knocks you sideways that’s for sure.

I can’t write anything than what’s already been spoken about in other reviews in case of giving the plot away.
I want to write so much.....
But you need to go in blind.

Brilliant read. Been glued to it all day.
Profile Image for Agirlcandream.
678 reviews4 followers
April 26, 2016

Well that was fun.

Wynn Larimer loves making gourmet meals, designing jewellery and is dealing with what she fears is increasing memory loss. Her partner Barker is a social worker with a heavy caseload and is concerned about Wynn's inability to remember simple basics, like walking the dogs and remembering dinner invitations.

When Wynn is thrown in jail accused of kidnapping two foster kids under Barker's supervision the reader is left wondering how can this slightly confused older woman be involved in something so terrible and how will Barker protect her partner and find the teens.

Alison R. Solomon has written something new and different with Along Came the Rain. It's a thriller but it's gentle. A Cosy Thriller perhaps? There is tension created and we worry that Wynn, while not at the top of her game is being framed but by whom? And to what purpose?

I liked the author's writing style. The story moves along nicely with an easy flow but as another reviewer has indicated, it is important to note the dates listed under the chapter headings. To build layers and increase tension and intrigue the story bounces back and forth from the day Wynn is arrested, to the events surrounding the kidnapping and moments in Barker and Wynn's personal life.

This style of writing is not for everyone, and neither is the first person perspective told chapter to chapter by Wynn, Barker and one of the kidnapped girls but in this novel it works. We readers get to see first hand how Wynn's slips in memory are affecting her confidence and self esteem. Barker gives us insight into the career of a social worker, it's challenges and small victories. She also comes across as short-tempered when her partner forgets some of the smaller details in life. In Kallie we see the world through the eyes of a foster child caught in the system. Her survival skills are honed and she is mature beyond her fifteen years.

I found myself unable to put this quick read down. If you are looking for a Karin Slaughter or Lisa Gardner type thriller then this is not the book for you. The mystery involved is not earth shattering but it is surprising.

3.5 stars boosted up to 4 stars for its unique style and subject matter.

ARC received with thanks from Sapphire Books via NetGalley for review.
17 reviews20 followers
December 9, 2016
Started off really strong but fell apart in my opinion. Not a plausible explanation for everything, a few pretty major plot holes and an over the top ending.
Profile Image for Nicki.
623 reviews2 followers
May 27, 2016
Wynn Larimer has a very bad memory and lately it has been getting worse but that can't have anything to do with why she has been arrested and accused of kidnapping two teenage girls who are foster children.As she starts to try and clear her name she discovers that she has been set up,but by who and why?.

Wynn`s partner Barker is a social worker and the two kidnapped girls just happen to be her clients so on top of her fear for the girls safety she also has the added worry about Wynn`s problems with her memory and the fear that Wynn may be in the early stages of dementia.

As the two women race to discover the truth about what has happened to the girls,they discover secrets about each other that put extra strain on their relationship and make them begin to doubt if they really knew each other to begin with.

The story starts with Wynn being arrested and is told in alternating chapters by Wynn and Barker with a number of chapters told from the point of view of Kellie who is one of the missing girls.The first 40% of the book flips back and forth between the months of April and July but then the rest of the story is told in present day tense as the story unfolds.The chapters are clearly dated and so the story is easy to follow and flows along nicely.There is some information about symptoms and diagnosis of dementia which considering my age I found very interesting and adding the dementia element made Wynn`s character more vulnerable.I liked Wynn but she was also very naive,stubborn and a bit over trusting at times.I also had a lot of sympathy for the two missing girls Kellie and Mikki,they had been through so much in their young lives and just when they thought they were safe and happy their lives were turned upside down again.

The story is very well written,not fast paced but the story is intriguing and does keep the reader guessing.The ending was a bit of a surprise and I'm not sure if it could happen in real life considering what happened earlier in the story but it didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book and I suppose it was a nice way to end the story.

Many thanks to Sapphire books for an ARC of this book via netgalley
Profile Image for Darla Baker.
Author 5 books25 followers
March 23, 2016
Wow! This book is different. This is book will have book club members in deep discussions. Readers will have strong opinions. Some will love it. Others will not. But I doubt anyone will have a moderate opinion. It takes you to the edge of the cliff of the "willing suspension of disbelief" hanging on by fingernails you're grateful exist.

I really liked it. The entire time I was reading the book I was imagining all sorts of possible outcomes, none of which turned out to be accurate. I was completely surprised. The way Alison placed me inside Wynn's head was disconcerting at times, in a very good way. I could feel the disorientation her memory problems caused.

The only caution I would give to the reader is to pay attention to the timeline at the top of each chapter. When I first started reading the book I skimmed over the dates and then had to go back and read them in order to orient myself in the story. This isn't a criticism of the book. I just want to make sure other readers learn from my experience.

Alison R. Solomon, I give you five stars for Along Came The Rain. It is unlike anything I've ever read previously. Writing something this unique is hard to accomplish these days. Kudos, Alison!
Profile Image for Christine Close.
151 reviews1 follower
May 6, 2016
Five Stars; f/f mystery

I was sent this book by Inked Rainbow Reads in exchange for an honest review.

This novel totally drew me in, it amazed me, it scared me and it made me think.

Although at times I found this a very difficult subject to read about Ms Solomon handled this controversial subject in a very astute way.

I was completely amazed when the perpetrator was revealed having accepted, with regret, the misjudged and first likely suspect. This was a real credit to the authors creative writing skills and obvious impeccable research.

Due to the darkness and despair, which were a necessary part of this challenging novel, the ending was a much appreciated, uplifting and satisfying conclusion.

A very different novel, but certainly one not to be missed.
Profile Image for Carol Douglas.
Author 12 books93 followers
February 4, 2018
I don't read many suspense novels, but I found this exciting. It's well written and truly suspenseful.

It starts out with Wynn, a sixtyish lesbian jewelry designer, being arrested and having no idea why. The police finally say that it's for kidnapping. She's astounded.

Her partner, Barker, is supportive, but complains about Wynn's memory problems.

Wynn has been set up. But who set her up, and why? Is she developing dementia?

This book is especially meaningful for older women readers.
Profile Image for Megan.
Author 3 books48 followers
June 19, 2020
Many factors are considered in reviewing books, but here are two that I consider highly. First, is the subject matter important? Two shining examples of important books are Katherine V. Forrest’s The Beverly Malibu, which goes into detail about how the McCarthy Era ruined the lives of so many people in the 1950s, and The Torrid Zone, which, more than any other lesbian mystery novel, chronicles the Wimmen’s Land Movement of the 1970s. Both should be in any Top 20 list of lesbian mysteries. Bottom line; if the book has an important subject, add from half a point to a full point to your rating.

The second important consideration is spectacular writing. While very few lesbian mystery writers use much poetic language (Iza Moreau and Dorothy Porter come to mind), several have spectacular point-of-view protagonists (Kate Allen, Nikki Baker, Peta Fox, to name a few). Bottom line again, but different. If a book does not do something special with language or technique, subtract a small percentage point from the total rating score.

First-time novelist Allison R. Solomon’s Along Came the Rain passes the first test in spades. Her portrait of a burned-out social worker takes the reader into the homes of foster parents and abused children, giving us a candid and appalling glimpse into things that real social workers have to deal with every day. Social workers have incredibly important and stressful jobs and Solomon’s tip of the hat is both needed and welcome. Likewise, the author gives us her insight into the interesting and unusual topic of memory loss and how it affects not only us but our loved ones.

As far as the writing goes—well it is as good as most, but not extraordinary. Yet Solomon takes the kind of chances I expect only from flashier, more experienced literary novelists. For instance, in the first half of the book she does a brilliant job of mixing three different first-person-present points of view. And all three voices are very different, defining three very diverse characters. The only problem I have is that she alters the chronological time signatures of each of the chapters so that the reader is sometimes confused, not so much about what is happening, but why it is happening out of order. I suspect that the author wanted to start the novel with a bang when the bang actually happened—timewise—later on in the book.

Wynn Larimer seems to be having memory problems, but when she is arrested for kidnapping, she begins to wonder if she has completely lost it. As far as she can remember, she never saw the two 15-year-old girls that have gone missing. Her long-time partner, Barker, gets her a lawyer, but even she suspects that Wynn’s memory problems have become serious. But unknown to Barker, Wynn has decided to clear her own name by investigating the girls’ disappearance herself. So, aside from a couple of hard-to-believe scenarios, the first half of the Along Came the Rain, deserves a solid 4 rating, if not higher.

I’m not going to dwell on the second half because much of what I would have to say would fall into the spoiler category. I will just say that we begin to see that things are not what they have heretofore seemed. Those who get their kicks from twisty plots will find something to like here. those who don't; well, you can't please everybody. All in all, Along Came the Rain is a worthy effort and I hope that Solomon continues her promising writing career. She writes well and she has important issues to discuss.

Note: I read a review copy of this book, kindly provided in e-book form by the author in August, 2016.

Another Note: This review is included in my book The Art of the Lesbian Mystery Novel, along with information on over 930 other lesbian mysteries by over 310 authors.
Profile Image for Amy.
230 reviews13 followers
May 10, 2016
I received a copy of this book from Inked Rainbow Reads in return for an honest review.
I'm not even sure where to go first. I'll start with the format. I've only recently started liking first person povs. I think it's more difficult for me to get into a book where 'I' am the character and not just following along beside the character. I know that is a personal preference. There are many people who absolutely love first person. My problem in this book is the head jumping. I believe there are a total of three characters whose point of view is written from, and the pov changes each chapter. In my opinion, and again with the caveat that it's my own preference, I believe that any book written from more than one pov should change to a third person narrator. Next on my format list is the timeline. I didn't like the way the author changed 'when' she was writing about. For example, the first chapter happened a week or two after two foster girls went missing. The next chapter happens two days after the girls disappear, the next chapter, the day they go missing, and the fourth chapter happens a couple of months before. This makes me feel like I have to actually write down what happens when, just to keep things straight. I just don't like that type of bouncing around, although I understand why it's used here. The first chapter has a lot of impact, and then there's a back up to explain what led up to that. Still, not a fan of that much jumping.
My next problem with the book has to do with content. This part is ALL about content so it's all my personal opinion about how what I read made me feel. I'll try to get through this part without too many spoilers. First, reading about dementia or Alzheimer's is difficult. It's a subject that I have fears surrounding it, because I'm afraid it could happen to me. So it isn't something I would choose to read about. However, it IS important to the plot, and once I got past some of the initial scenes concerning this it became a bit more bearable. Next is what happens to the girls after they've disappeared. The only way I can say anything about this without a spoiler is that it was shocking to read with no prior preparation, and I didn't particularly care for it. And finally is the part about who was behind it all and how it was resolved. All I can say about this part is it's cray-cray. The whole book seems like a ride on the seedy, crazy part of town.
So I didn't like the book. However, I will praise two things. I liked the technical expertise of Solomon's writing - by which I mean her writing is technically great. Her sentence structure, vocabulary, and grammar are all above average. And the book itself is well plotted and well written. Her style is very easy to read. So this book didn't do it for me, but I would take a look at others she's written to see if I'm interested.
Profile Image for Velvet Lounger.
390 reviews64 followers
December 12, 2016
Along Came the Rain is an unusual book from page one. It is not an easy read, it’s not an easy story, yet it pulls you along with some inexorable force and keeps you tied to the chair until you finish.

Wynn is a middle-aged jewellery maker with a flaky memory and a ditzy personality who forgets to walk the dogs and put the diner on. Barker is her long suffering social work partner, frustrated by her forgetfulness and concerned with the growing signs of memory loss. When two of Barker’s 15 year-old foster care clients go missing their relationship comes under scrutiny – how will their personal histories impact solving the mystery of why the girls have gone missing and who is responsible?

Written in the first person point of view and with a step by step – backwards – narrative, this is a challenging read until you get far enough in to it to have a handle on the story. That is not a criticism of the writing, I cannot imagine how else Ms Solomon could have done it without loosing the essence of the novel, but until we, the reader, catch up with who and when, the plot is hard to follow. It is so unusual we just aren’t used to it.

When you do catch up with the retroactive storyline it makes perfect sense and leaves you with a feeling of having unwrapped a very complex three-dimensional onion. The layers of fact and emotion are the very core of this tale, and as it unfolds we are drawn into a deep psychological whodunit where almost nobody is innocent of some wrongdoing, however naively they got involved.

The characters are complex, to say the least. Their back-histories and personalities are, essentially, the story. As the plot unfolds and we begin to see the clues as to who, the ‘why’ is left hanging because there are so many possibilities.

The writing is excellent, the words flow, the dialogue and narrative are well done, there is a lot of internal monologue, but it’s an integral and essential part of the story. In some ways it is the story.

Ms Solomon takes us to the brink in many different ways, she makes us uncomfortable then pulls back before we tumble over the edge. That is particularly true of what happens to the girls, where she builds the suspense, gives us an expectation of something much worse than it actually is. Clever writing and excellent technical skills in a debut novel.

Fascinating read. Without giving spoilers it is hard to explain, but the author puts the reader into the mind of a women with serious mental issues and it is both intriguing and disconcerting to be taken on the journey with her. This isn’t a book you will forget in a hurry.
June 4, 2016
This is a suspense-filled story told from the points of view of two major characters, Wynn and Barker, and two additional characters, Parminder and Kallie. Wynn is an older woman, a self-employed jewelry-maker who is somewhat eccentric and quirky; Barker is a social worker and the younger woman in this domestic partnership. Parminder is an intern working under Barker, and Kallie is a fifteen-year-old foster placement of Barker’s.

A kidnapping with an unusual motive is the basis of the story, which proved to be very engrossing right from the beginning. I found the outcome to be a total surprise, far from predictable, and the entire book an enjoyable read. Wynn and Barker are believable and well-developed characters. I could feel Wynn’s periodic confusion and frustration with herself, and I came to really like Barker because of her dedication to her clients. Parminder and Kallie are less developed, but that felt okay because the story belongs to Wynn and Barker.

My main criticism is that, while the story is told from the points of view of four different characters, their voices never differ. Kallie, a fifteen-year-old coming from a decidedly rougher background, possesses a vocabulary and sentence structure similar to that of the adults. Parminder, a native of India, does not have any distinctive characteristics to her narration. I also had a problem with Wynn’s ability to accept and forgive when she is grievously wronged, but it’s possible that she might just be a better person than I am.

This book was well-written, an enjoyable read, and I found no errors of note other than a single word that should have been edited out and multiple places where I would have expected commas. I would highly recommend it for anyone looking for a quick suspense novel with a satisfying ending.
Profile Image for A.W..
203 reviews4 followers
February 9, 2017
Wynn Larimer is arrested for kidnapping two teenage girls but she's innocent. Things don't help her because she has a poor memory but she knows she's been set up but not who and why.

I couldn't quite get into the book as much as I would have liked. Perhaps it was because of the constant change of POVs and time-hopping. There wasn't much romance as it was more a mystery novel.

I must admit I was quite surprised finding out who did it but I felt the delivery could've been better. I thought that certain leads could have been followed by the police but they didn't, making them somewhat incompetent. I couldn't grasp how Wynn reacted when she found out who it was that framed her.

Review also posted here: http://wp.me/p4Pp9O-vp

I was given a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Donna.
701 reviews
May 21, 2016
Wow what a book! This book was amazing, great story with plenty of twists. Had me engrossed from the first page right up until the last. You think you know someone and then something happens and you realise you have been living with a complete stranger! A must read! I was given a digital copy of this book via Netgalley in return for an honest unbiased review.
383 reviews6 followers
June 14, 2017
Twists and turns a plenty ~ 4 sand a half stars
There’s twists and turns a plenty in this page turning psychological thriller from Alison R. Solomon. It is the author’s debut novel and she has done an excellent job in creating a suspenseful read which kept me on my toes and guessing until the end.
Wynn is shocked when she is accused of kidnapping two teenage foster children. There is no question of her innocence in her own mind. However, when the police produce a series of evidence which points to her guilt, she begins to feel a net closing in on her, a net of someone else’s making. Can she prove to them and to her partner Barker that she had nothing to do with the crime? With issues round her memory loss that appear to be worsening she battles against the odds to gather evidence that the police may have overlooked as the fate of the girls hangs in the balance. Meanwhile her partner Barker, a social worker to the two girls, struggles to prove Wynn’s innocence whilst maintaining her own and Wynn’s sanity.
Barker and Wynn are a loving couple: Barker a social worker, well thought of by her colleagues and clients, and Wynn the homemaker  trying to get her jewellery making business off the ground. They have a good life together but will their relationship survive? Has Wynn been framed and if so why? In the course of their efforts to uncover the truth revelations about their respective pasts come to life and they will have to live with the consequences, that is if they can prove Wynn’s innocence and keep her out of jail.
I was gripped as Wynn struggles to clear her name whilst grappling with her own issues around memory loss. The author tackles this issue in a knowledgeable and sensitive way as she does with other issues explored in the read: dementia, memory loss, mental health, abuse and aging. The trials and tribulations of the foster system are also explored in the book and again this is done in a knowledgeable and insightful fashion.
The novel is cleverly written, with different POV and timelines and I was totally gobsmacked at how the plot unravelled. Recommended for lovers of a suspenseful read. Please note a copy of this nook was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.
Profile Image for Andromeda.
1 review
December 5, 2017
At first I could not understand why this book had almost five stars.

Some parts are a bit weird, and the pacing has a few minor issues. But unraveling the story was fun (some parts from the girls POV are uncomfortable and if you are reading this, trigger warning for sexual assault).

The ending of the book was out there, but solid and very entertaining. After getting to the ending, I know understand why the ratings are so high. It was honestly kind of hilarious even though it wasn’t intended to be, I laughed through the last few chapters of the book because it was just so dramatic and took such a huge veer in tone that it wound up being the best thing for the book.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jen.
388 reviews
February 7, 2018
** I received a copy of this book for free through a Goodreads giveaway. **

This was a very enjoyable mystery with a few good twists that caught even me offguard! I enjoyed the characters and the relationships, although I would have like a bit more from the teenagers POV. The build-up was well done and the story moved along just quickly enough. I did notice a few minor grammatical/editing errors but these did not disrupt the story and I found them easy enough to ignore. All in all, this was a well-written mystery with well-drawn characters and an intriguing premise.
Profile Image for Ocean ..
Author 13 books10 followers
October 29, 2017
A Wonderful Story!

Wynn is accused of a crime she didn’t commit, well, yes, she did, sort of, but not really. It’s complicated. It’s the complication I enjoyed and the mystery of trying to figure out, “who done it and why”.

Skillfully written using first person, multiple POV’s, I loved experiencing what was happening from different character’s POV. A wonderful story with believable, likable characters that tastefully treads through some delicate subject matters. Well done Alison!
Profile Image for Candace.
Author 1 book15 followers
February 19, 2021
This book has a very twist-filled plot. It’s a mystery centered in a long-term lesbian relationship, and while the writing is strictly genre (vs. literary), the characters are well and believable drawn. Nothing is quite what it seems, but I don’t want to give anything away. I found a couple of glaring editorial goofs, but otherwise it was well edited. This is quite different from most genre lesbian novels, and that’s a good thing. Enjoy.
79 reviews
February 17, 2017
This was a murder/who done it in a serious tone - it has a lot of adult content, lesbian lifestyle to warn some who might prefer not to read . But it is a good story, to me it was the perfect travel companion on the bus.. kept me thinking about what had happened , what didnt seem right, and the twist in the ending.
254 reviews
April 11, 2020

Beautifully written with well developed characters and plot. There were twists and turns that brought many surprises and gasps. The ending was fabulous but I’m still trying to figure out Barker’s agenda. I unequivocally recommend this work and any others from this author. A very good read. Thank you. Peace
103 reviews
August 27, 2020
WOW. I so did not expect that. Not going to say too much as you need to go in blind to read this. It will send you sideways at times. This is definitely a great read. Maybe a tad disappointed at the way the ending was written although that is probably just personal opinion and certainly not a reason to not read this.
Profile Image for Maz Tucker.
267 reviews7 followers
October 3, 2018
Really different but good

This is a really different lesbian book. No big romance, it is ready well written and has a great way of telling you the story.
Profile Image for j good.
178 reviews3 followers
June 25, 2021
Good Mystery

Along Came the Rain was a really good mystery, I was changing my mind constantly trying to figure out who was responsible. I was surprised.
Profile Image for Anne.
540 reviews
July 15, 2016
I couldn't warm to this book. I think the random timeline might be to help us share in Wynn's confusion but I didn't get it and just found the jumping about irritating at times. I didn't identify particularly well with any of the lead characters which makes reading a first person point of view difficult. There is some beautiful writing in here and the overall plot is sound but the book just didn't resonate with me.

i was given copy of this book by Netgalley in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Heather Henkel.
1,404 reviews20 followers
April 15, 2016
Just wow

That was an interesting story with twists I didn't expect. Well worth a read. It dealt with topics like dementia in ways I had not considered.
Profile Image for Mary.
57 reviews
November 30, 2016
I rarely give books 5 stars but the way Solomon crafted a shifty, twisted, keep you guessing, "OMG, SHE DID NOT!!" story will definately keep you engaged and flipping the pages.
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