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The Sound of Rain

(Sound of Rain #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  430 ratings  ·  145 reviews
In the Dark of the Mine, In the Face of Rising Water,
In the Shadows of the Hills, Faith Will See Them Through

Judd Markley knew he could never set foot underground again. The mine collapse that nearly killed him and claimed his brother's life meant leaving West Virginia forever. Although that hard Appalachian world was all he knew, he put it behind him and headed for the op
Paperback, 331 pages
Published November 7th 2017 by Bethany House Publishers (first published November 2017)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  430 ratings  ·  145 reviews

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Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
When readers ask which of my books is my favorite, I typically say it's the one I'm working on. But I think THIS one may continue to be my favorite. I finally have my coal miner hero in Judd Markley and he's a little bit of so many family members who are dear to me. I hope you fall in love with him as deeply as I did.
I wasn't sure I was going to like The Sound of Rain, as I'd not read by Sarah Loudin Thomas before. But I shouldn't have worried. I usually love books set in the 1950s, and this one was so fun and also meaningful and tender.

Judd Markley leaves behind the Appalachian Mountains after a mine cave-in and tries to make a life for himself on the beaches of South Carolina. There he meets Larkin Heyward, the daughter of his new boss. She's full of life and light, and has big dreams of ministering to the
In the Dark of the Mine, In the Face of Rising Water,
In the Shadows of the Hills, Faith Will See Them Through

Judd Markley knew he could never set foot underground again. The mine collapse that nearly killed him and claimed his brother's life meant leaving West Virginia forever. Although that hard Appalachian world was all he knew, he put it behind him and headed for the open sky of the thriving town of 1954 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Larkin Heyward's life in the beach town is uncomplicated, mo
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, owned-books
4.5 stars

I had high expectations for this book, and it didn’t fall short at all. I absolutely loved this book.

The setting and characters of this book were perfect. Set at both Myrtle Beach and the Appalachian mountains in Kentucky? Yep, I knew I was going to love it. The setting worked amazing with the time period and characters. This book is darling!

The characters had such cute and southern personalities. At first I wasn’t sure if all of the “ain’t and y’all” was going to bother me, but I th
Amanda Tero
Dec 09, 2017 rated it liked it
This book opens with a heartrending tragedy and continues as Judd attempts to pick up the pieces of his life and lives the dream his brother desired to live. Meanwhile, Larkin lives life full speed ahead, trying to follow what she believes God has called her to do.

The story seems to follow a realistic pattern more than a fiction pattern. It very much felt the era of the 1950’s. I did find it to be slow moving and without a real thrust of tension that moved the story forward—even during tragedie
I have been really conflicted over what my final rating for this book will be. The writing style is beautiful and lyrical, raising my overall rating, while there are plot holes big enough to chuck a horse through, which lowers the rating. Let's see if I can't talk it out with myself for my review.

The story opens with Judd Markley getting his leg broken with a mine collapse that kills his brother. If that isn't enough of a catalyst to make someone want to reinvent their life, it's hard to imagine
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
A charming historical romance.
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Sometimes the people who needed the most help didn't look like they need any help at all."
(p 290)

Sarah Loudin Thomas has a lyrical style that is sheer poetry. I find myself reading out loud from time to time just to hear the impact of her words. The Sound of Rain is an exquisite escape into another time and place. And I have a secret fascination for all things Appalachia. Stoic people, hardworking and proud. They blend faith and culture into a fascinating seize-the-moment kind of living that r
Jaime Jo Wright
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
A well written novel with beautiful descriptions and a vintage charm that returns us to the 50’s.

Things I loved: I enjoyed the slow burn of the novel, the atmospheric writing that pulled you backward in time. The author did a fabulous job of immersing the reader into the logging era, the dancing of the 50’s, the vehicles and clothes and overall aura. I enjoyed the characterizations from Judd to Larkin to Pete and Ben and all the other personalities. It was also neat to have a novel set in a his
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Judd Markley and Larkin Heyward`s life might have completely different backgrounds but both have had their share of hurts that have shaped them today.

Judd Markley moves to South Carolina consumed by grief and remorse. He's determined to live out his baby brother dream not only as a way of preserving his brother's memory but as a self-punishment as well. When new dreams and friends come along, how long can Judd hold on to undeserved penitence so he can learn to smile again?

Larkin Heyward has grow
Maureen Timerman
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
We have a couple disasters here, a mine cave in and then a hurricane, and our Judd gets to live through both, but as we see he is not left unscathed. Then the author brings us the Heyward family, a man devastated by his upbringing of being poor, having had a father that gave all they had to the church, but we sure see he did something right with his children.

The story lets us spend time at both the ocean and then we go to both West Virginia and Kentucky, and we see how outsiders are not easily a
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2017
This book had me hooked after the first paragraph, honestly. From the coal mines of West Virginia to the timberlands of South Carolina and back into the hills of Kentucky, this book is filled with strong people with strong personalities. Judd Markley is the perfect hero, and Larkin is an extraordinary heroine. I loved reading about their relationship and all of the people who inhabited their world. This is an excellent read! Thank you to Bethany House Publishers and Sarah Loudin Thomas for gifti ...more
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Sound Of Rain by Sarah Loudin Thomas is a marvellous Christian historical romance which I devoured.
It was a cracking story set in 1954 which wove certain facts into fiction. With a comprehensive cast of characters, the reader will find that they weave their way into your heart.
The novel's main themes are about knowing God and having the correct priorities. "There's making money and then there's making a living." There is nothing wrong with having money and possessions but when they are your
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this story. I thought the way both Judd and Larkin were portrayed was very realistic: flawed enough to not appear 'fake', but good at heart so you wanted them to learn and succeed. And the way the story was told really drew me in from the beginning.
I thought the theme of learning to follow God's call on your life, and dreaming His dreams for your future was a good one. How several central characters felt like they had certain gifts to offer, but at times needed to get out of the
After the mine he's working in collapses, injuring him and killing his younger brother Joe, Judd Markley can't bear to go back to mining. He leaves his home in West Virginia to go to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where he finds a job working for a timber company. When he first meets Larkin Heyward, his boss's daughter, he figures she's spoiled and shallow, but as he gets to know her better, he realizes there's more to her than a rich girl who likes dancing. Larkin has been volunteering at the lo ...more
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sarah Loudin Thomas' newest novel is headed straight for my re-read shelf. Though I was a bit skeptical when it came to the 1950's rich girl/poor boy storyline, it was so much more than this.

It was the potentially condescending desire of a rich 21 year old girl to help those less fortunate, where such help is not wanted, that had me prepared to dislike Larkin as a character. Her work as a Candy Striper began to wear me down, however, and just like Judd, I was won over by her joyous nature. I fou
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Sound of Rain by Sarah Loudin Thomas takes place in West Virginia and South Carolina in 1954. Judd was a mine worker in West Virginia when a cave in took his brother and injured his leg. Not wanting to go back to the mines, he traveled to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. During his travel he met a man who helped get him a job with Waccamaw Timber Company. He advanced in his job quickly. Shortly after he arrived in Myrtle Beach a hurricane came and destroyed a lot of the area. He often thinks he ...more
Gail Hollingsworth
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the third book I've read by Sarah Loudin Thomas and each one seems to get better and better. I loved the story but the characters even more. The first chapter started out with a bang and drew me in right away. Judd was likable from the start. I felt for him in his situation and in his grief. Larkin (whose name I loved) was a little harder to like at the beginning. She seemed rich, spoiled and frivolous. But soon she was shown to have a really good and caring heart. Her father was tough a ...more
C.E. Hart
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
He closed his eyes and focused on the pain in his ribs, his leg, his head—anything but the pain in his heart. ~excerpt, Chapter 1

The Sound of Rain is the fifth story I’ve read by Sarah Loudin Thomas. She is a talented southern fiction storyteller with a spiritual, healing inclination.

I love the West Virginia, Kentucky, and South Carolina settings. The setting(s) add so much to the story. And the 1950s is a unique time period (for me) in historical fiction. The nostalgic feel is as much a charact
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I really enjoyed this book. It's setting is different from my normal read. I loved the historical tidbits of 1950's Myrtle Beach, Hurricane Hazel and the Appalachian hills of Western Virginia and Kentucky. Judd and Larkin, both from such diverse worlds, struggle with discerning and following God's will in their lives. George, Larkin's father, struggles with wanting to leave a legacy. But what kind of legacy is of true value?
The author immediately pulled me into the story from the very first p
Allison Flexer
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved reading the Sound of Rain over the holidays this year. Sarah Loudin Thomas wrote another winner with this book! The characters are real and memorable. The plot is not predictable (like many novels). It takes some unexpected turns and twists and keeps the reader engaged. Even though it's a fiction piece, I learned some real pieces of history about Myrtle Beach. All in all, I highly recommend you adding this book to your to-be-read pile!
Juliet Johnson
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
A sweet, nicer story than I was expecting - yet deeper that a basic romance.
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved the story...the ending got a little confusing trying to figure out how everybody was related to everyone else, but all in all, I enjoyed the book.
Nov 13, 2017 rated it liked it
The first thing that captured my attention about this book is the setting. From Mountains of West Virginia to the coast of Myrtle Beach, SC and to the hills of Kentucky this book will introduce to various cultures and people that populate the various regions. I found the descriptions of the locations realistic and believable.

Rich with Appalachian dialect, and feisty characters you are sure to feel like you are right there in the story. I did, however, find it difficult to connect with the main c
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Bethany House Bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.

Note: Kristin reads and reviews both Christian and secular fiction on A Simply Enchanted Life. Out of respect for my readers, I am including a content review. This content review will help you decide whether this book is suitable for you.

Content Review:
Christian or Secular: Christian
Profanity: None
Sex: None
Denise Hershberger
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've read all of Sarah Loudin Thomas' books ever since she wrote her first novella. I was sad that I didn't get to read this one right when it came out, but life was very busy then.

This book was beautiful. I love how she can take hardship and turn it into opportunity. I loved the friendships that came about in this book. I loved the redemption of more than one character. Truly, I just loved everything about it.

But honestly what I truly love about her books is the setting. I do not have any perso
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Maybe you should stop anticipating what God will do and just see what He does."

Larkin Heyward's privileged life as the daughter of a Myrtle Beach timber tycoon is relatively simple, yet fruitless. Larkin longs for more; she wants to help people, and the tales of vast numbers of underprivileged people living deep in the Appalachian mountains have reached her ears. She just never expected to meet a "mountain man" on her home turf, especially when his handsome, winsome spirit draws her in, like a
3.5-star read

I received a print copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Judd Markley wakes up after a mine collapse and his only thoughts are for his brother Joe and the other miner's safety and welfare. When he's brought out of the mine and recovering in a hospital, he's told that his younger brother Joe was one of the fatalities at the mine. It is at that moment that Judd realizes he may never be able to go back down in the mines again. Jobs are rel
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
This lovely book is near and dear to my heart for many reasons. First, I live in the Appalachian mountains and have vacationed in Myrtle Beach so I easily identified with the characters and the locations set in this story. In addition, I have experienced several hurricanes and their aftermath firsthand during my years growing up. The Sound of Rain beautifully ties tragedy, young love and personal growth together in a sweetly woven story that takes place between the mountains, the ocean and the h ...more
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sarah Loudin Thomas has captured this reader once again. Set in 1954, The Sound of Rain is a romance of culture, events and a young couple that under normal circumstances would never have come together. Judd Markley is a hero in a quiet, unassuming way that allows him to captures the interest of our heroine, Larkin Heyward.

The back cover of the novel paints the picture that drew me in at the start:

"In the Dark of the mine, In the Face of rising Water,

In the shadows of the Hills, faith will see
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 May 05, 2017 09:48AM  

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I’m a Christian, wife, fundraiser and writer living near Asheville, NC. I grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV. I used to say “rural WV,” but realized that’s largely redundant. I LOVE my home state and the fact that I’m the seventh generation to grow up on the family farm. My love of the Appalachian Mountains informs my writing. I want you to be as wild about these hazy, blue mountains a ...more

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