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Things to Do When It's Raining

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  681 ratings  ·  187 reviews
Two families are torn apart by secret pasts and broken hearts—from Globe and Mail-bestselling author Marissa Stapley.

When secrets tear love apart, can the truth mend it?

Mae Summers and Gabriel Broadbent grew up together in the idyllic Summers’ Inn, perched at the edge the St. Lawrence river. Mae was orphaned at the age of six and Gabe needed protection from his alcoholic f
Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 2018 by Simon & Schuster Canada
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Marissa Stapley The river and setting are so important to the plot! I have an aunt who lives near the St. Lawrence and I stayed with her while I was writing. We…moreThe river and setting are so important to the plot! I have an aunt who lives near the St. Lawrence and I stayed with her while I was writing. We talked a lot about making the river a character -- because people who live near the river feel that way about it, that it has a soul, if that makes sense. The islands were important too because the characters were so alienated from one another at the start of the novel -- like islands -- and then had to find a way to come together again. I love the St. Lawrence and the 1000 Islands, I think I could live there, and perhaps even write more novels set there! Thanks for your question. (less)
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3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  681 ratings  ·  187 reviews

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Norma * Traveling Sister
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sister-reads
Brenda and I were once again 'Lost in a Coulee Reading' together! It has been a little while for the two of us reading a book together. We have done a lot of group reads together but not just the two of us. I love our group reads but it is always pretty special reading with my sister!

THINGS TO DO WHEN IT'S RAINING by MARISSA STAPLEY is a character-driven story that was an enjoyable, entertaining, and fast read! It's an interesting, moving, and engaging multi-generational family drama that was we
I was initially interested in this book based on the title. Fun fact about me... I LOVE rain. Especially listening to it while I'm reading <3.

Things to Do When It's Raining is a novel that explores how a lie so deep can effect two families across three generations.

Mae Summers and Gabe Broadbent grew up together in Alexandria Bay as childhood friends that eventually grew into love for one another. Gabe was initially raised by an emotionally abusive father that loved to drink. Mae's grandpare
Brenda - Traveling Sister
The Sisters were lost in the rainy, windy, lush coulee by themselves reading Things to Do When It’s Raining. It was just Norma and I walking in the coulee finding cover and then sitting under the lush trees with the wonderful rain pouring down on us looking at that list of recommendations for what to do when it is raining. We both really enjoyed the "Things To Do When It's Raining" recommendations that started off each chapter throughout the book and thought that it really contributed to the the ...more
Apr 27, 2018 rated it liked it
I think this was more of a 2.5 * read for me.

The first thing that intrigued me was the title. Then the cover. Then the setting.. An old family drama centred around the St. Lawrence River/1000 Islands area. The problem was right from the get-go I was a little confused with all the characters. When I got things straightened out I wanted to warm to them but just couldn't. Instead of a feel-good story about unravelling family secrets, and rekindling a lost love, it was just a joyless trip down memor
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Powerful, poignant, and heartrending!

Things to Do When It's Raining is an absorbing novel that delves into the mental and emotional anguish that can be caused by underlying secrets, grief, guilt, family dynamics, friendship, first loves and loneliness and emphasizes the importance of closure and forgiveness.

The prose is smooth and well turned. The characters are consumed, troubled, raw, and authentic. And the character-driven plot interweaves the past and present of two multigenerational familie
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When secrets tear love apart, can the truth mend it?
I love Marissa's writings, she really is a unique Author who merges the romance drama and mystery so great, Things To Do When It's Raining it's a masterpiece that speaks about secrets, family dynamics, loneliness and friendships! .
For me it really is an evocative novel, the characters are so interesting and well connected to the book, at the beginning I found the book so complicated as it has a lot of characters but I got used to as everything
K.A. Tucker
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Things To Do When It's Raining is a tightly woven story that beautifully illustrates how tragedy and human weakness can cause heartbreaking ripples for years and generations to come.
I looked at the cover and was enticed. I read the blurb and got excited at the prospect of reading this book. I read the first few pages... I sighed. I read further... I was confused. Then I closed the book and thought back at the lines I have read. And I realized I understood parts of the story. Now what...? Go back and re-read or DNF...?

I didn't want a DNF in the new year, so I went back into the book but with a new technique. I hopped, I skipped, I jumped on the stepping stones to cross the p
Marissa Stapley
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Well, I did write it . . . And I hope you all enjoy it!
Jan 23, 2018 rated it liked it
2.5 stars rounded up. The cover of Things To Do When It's Raining really appealed to me - I imagined a cozy and quaint read of sorts that would pull on the old heartstrings. I imagined a plot with rich description and perhaps even some historical detail about the area surrounding the St. Lawrence river. I imagined a gripping story about intergenerational secrets with twists and turns leading to an emotional reveal that would leave me a blubbering.mess. I waited patiently for the right moment to ...more
Kate Hilton
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another gorgeous family drama from Canadian writer Marissa Stapley.
Wit & Wonder Books
***ARC received in exchange for an honest review***

In Marissa Stapley's second novel, Things to Do When Its Raining, she delivers another powerful, emotionally charged story of family, second chances, lies, forgiveness.

There is so much to this story. At times I felt it was hard to follow along and had to back track. There are so many complex characters that make this story what it is...a journey of unraveling lies.

Mae was living her life in NY with her fiance, but one day she wakes up and he i
Things to Do When It's Raining by Marissa Stapley follows Mae and Gabe and Lilly and George through love and through heart break.

Lilly and George are the grandparents, then guardians to Mae after a terrible accident killed both her parents. Then shortly following the accident they take Gabe in from his alcoholic and abusive father. Mae and Gabe are the best of friends until one day he leaves without a word. Nearly a dozen years later and they both find themselves back in their home town of Alexa
Lisa Aiello
Apr 10, 2018 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this through NetGalley for my honest review.

2.5 stars, but I'm bumping it up to 3 because maybe it's me and the fact that I've recently read so many hard-hitting, angst-ridden, rip your heart out books. I struggled with this storyline. I had a hard time following it. For the longest time I had no clue what was going on. I had to work for understanding - and I hate having to do that with books I read. So many chapters where I couldn't tell who's voice I was reading. I started
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I won this book from Simon and Schuster facebook page. I enjoyed reading it. It is my first book by this author. It is a good drama book and would make a good pay tv movie,for sure. It had a good story to it.
Pam Jenoff
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When Mae's fiance disappears, leaving her and the company they share in financial ruin, she escapes back to her small hometown in upstate New York. But life there is no easier: a grandmother with dementia and a childhood friend with his own traumatic past force Mae to confront secrets that have long lay buried. If you enjoy books by Nicholas Sparks, you will adore this romantic and sentimental tale about the truths we learn on the long road home.
Booksandchinooks (Laurie)
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this book from the author for an honest review. This is a well written, character driven book. It is the story of a family with too many secrets and lies going back decades. Mae’s parents die when she is a child and she is raised by her loving grandparents. Gabe, a neighbour boy, is living with his single parent, abusive, alcoholic father. Lilly and George, Mae’s grandparents, decide to save Gabe from this situation and agree to raise Gabe in their home. Gabe and Mae gr ...more
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
2.5 STARS - This is a cozy read featuring an intergenerational story about loss, lies and secrets. It hits all the right boxes for a good Contemporary Fiction read - nice setting, varying time lines, a family with issues and an interesting premise and yet it didn't garner a high rating from me for a few reasons.

First, I thought the big family secrets were underwhelming and were revealed too early in the story. I was in it for the secrets!! Second, I wanted better connections to the characters an
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Marissa Stapley’s THINGS TO DO WHEN IT’S RAINING is evocative, wise and infused with heart. A deeply moving story about family, love and loss, it shows how secrets can either haunt us or set us free, depending on who we trust them with. One of my favorite books this year!
Feb 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Original review can be found at

** I received an advanced readers copy from Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

Things To Do When It's Raining was a sweeping family drama that spanned three generations but concentrated mostly on Mae and Gabe, the youngest of the generations. It was an epic story that showed how lies, deceptions and choices shaped and followed people from one generation to the next. It was a journey of
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Oh how I enjoyed this book.

This is a story - a story about four people - messy, complex people who are burdened by their pasts, as they try to move forward and make peace with their lives.

Lilly and George - married for almost 70 years are each facing their own demons - demons brought to life as Lilly struggles with her deteriorating memory. Little snippets that are grasped to keep her sane, drive George away until it's too late.

Mae and Gabe - best friends in childhood, more than friends in adole
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, adult, netgalley
Rating: 2.5/5

This story has a beautiful cover but for me the contents didn’t reflect this - it is probably a case of least said, soonest mended…..

The story concerns tragedy, lies and secrets that impact three generations. It explores friendship, hidden truths, guilt, heartbreak and aspects of living with dementia with a range of characters but I actually found it difficult to feel connected to them in anyway and this detracted severely to my enjoyment of the story. The story is told from differe
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a story that is set in Alexandria Bay, New York, near the St. Lawrence River, and a follows three generations of a family through their struggles and their love for one another. Mae thought she had it all, a great man who she was going to marry, a good business and a happy life ahead of her. Peter, her fiance however, is a thief. He has stolen money from the company and up and disappeared, leaving Mae to deal with the repercussions and the authorities. All while trying to mend her broken ...more
Vikki VanSickle
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Moving between three generations of the Summers women (Lilly, Virginia, and Mae) with select insights from the men in their lives, Stapley's novel is a classic family saga. Even though it is peppered with family tragedy, missed opportunities, and misunderstandings, this was a cozy, comforting read. Stapley's clear prose and choice of parceling the narrative out over a number of perspectives in relatively short vignettes keeps the pace ticking. The small, riverside town and rambling old Inn where ...more
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
A lovely and slightly melancholy story about three generations of a family with a whiff of a mystery pervading the narrative. The idea that we repeat patterns over generations and try to break certain moulds is explored effectively. I would recommend this as an easy read for the beach that will sweep you up in the story.
Hannah Mary McKinnon
A romantic, at times heartbreaking read about families and their secrets, lives lost, love and, ultimately, hope. Beautifully written and gut-wrenching, the novel Things To Do When It's Raining is as breathtaking as its gorgeous cover. I couldn't put this one down.
Shawn Bird
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a lovely story about love in its many forms and complications.

I received an ARC of this story in exchange for an unbiased review.

I enjoyed the characters; they felt believable, and I was keenly interested in how the story would unfold. I felt like we got to know them, were engrossed in their complicated story, and then suddenly it rushed into the ending. I would have appreciated a slower unfolding at the end, embracing the complications of the completion of the tale. That was what lost a r
Jen Selwyn-Edwards
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating story about families. About the power of truth (and lies) and the strength of love. The characters are engaging. Deeply flawed and real. Trying to survive not only the history that shadows us, but also the realities of every day life and the complicated intricacies of a dysfunctional family. The characters are all of us who strive for growth and happiness against difficult odds. I loved it. Well worth the read!
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I finished this book in two days - it was THAT GOOD. Marissa has an uncanny ability to get inside the minds of her characters and make them jump from the page in a totally believable way, so that you fall in love with them. This was the perfect book to read while cozy in front of the fire on a rainy fall day, but would be fabulous anytime (especially at the cottage in the summer, while it's raining 😊). I really enjoy Marissa's books - she's my favourite author to date.
Valerie Clubine
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What an engaging and charming book! I loved Mating For Life by Marissa Stapley, and I love this one even more. The characters are so easy to relate to, the story line is captivating - and I also find Marissa a very accomplished writer, making her books a joy to read. What a priviledge to be able to read an advanced copy - I found it hard to put down! I highly recommend this book.
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Marissa Stapley is the Globe and Mail bestselling author of the novels Mating for Life, Things to Do When It's Raining and The Last Resort. Her fiction has been published around the world and her journalism has appeared in magazines and newspapers across North America. She has taught creative writing and editing at the University of Toronto and Centennial College, and still mentors/teaches a small ...more