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Send Down the Rain

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Allie's second husband is killed tragically when his 18-wheeler crashes into the rocks near their home in Cape San Blas--the tanker was full of fuel and the explosion could be seen on overhead satellites. She'd already lost the beloved waterfront restaurant her parents started and now losing her husband, no matter how unfulfilling their marriage was, might just push her over the edge.

Joseph's time in Vietnam left him with scars that never seemed to heal. No matter how he's tried to love or what he's tried to do since then, he can't pull himself out of the wreckage of his former life. His trust and security shaken, he isolates himself in a cabin. But every morning, he faithfully pours two cups of coffee, drinking his while he sits with the second, and then pouring out the full cup.

It's no small coincidence that Joseph found a mother and her two young children lost in the woods near his cabin. Or that when he helps them return to family in Florida, he's near enough to see that explosion. Near enough to know it's close to home. Near enough to know that his childhood sweetheart needs him.

The years have built so much distance between them, but it's the secrets that may be their final undoing. Send Down the Rain reminds us of the beauty of truth . . . and the power of love to wash away the past.

352 pages, ebook

First published May 8, 2018

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About the author

Charles Martin

101 books6,214 followers
Married to Christy. Father of three boys.

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5 stars
7,865 (49%)
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3 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,561 reviews
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,124 reviews30.2k followers
July 11, 2018
5 sentimental stars to Send Down the Rain! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

This book!!! This is my first read by Charles Martin, but I own many on his backlist. I have read wonderful reviews of his books, and I could not wait to read Send Down the Rain!

Allie loses her second husband when his truck crashes and explodes. Not only has she lost him, but she has also lost her beloved family-owned, seaside restaurant.

Joseph was a soldier in Vietnam, and eventually, he isolates himself in a cabin, far away from family and friends. His life is haunted by his memories, and he walks around emotionally wounded every day.

One day, Joseph finds a mother and her two children lost near his cabin. He personally takes them back to Florida to their family. And then timing and fate come into play, and Joseph and Allie’s stories join. The rest, dear reader, is to be discovered at the heart of this sensitive, romantic story.

Where Charles Martin excels is allowing the reader to feel the emotion of his characters. Send Down the Rain is powerfully written and filled with a balance of gritty and charming moments, covering the darkest secrets of a family, PTSD, and life after war. It is also about loyalty and the sacrifices one makes for love. Fans of second-chance love stories with a side of family dynamics will love this one!

Thank you to Thomas Nelson for the ARC. Send Down the Rain is now available!

My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
Profile Image for Cheri.
1,741 reviews2,267 followers
March 9, 2023

”It don't feel right, but it's not wrong.
It's just hard to start again this far along.
Brick by brick, the letting go,
As you walk away from everything you know
When you release resistance
And you lean into the wind,
Till the roof begins to crumble,
And the rain comes pourin' in,
And you sit there in the rubble,
Till the rubble feels like home
That's how you learn to live alone
That's how you learn to live alone
That's how you learn to live alone”

How You Learn to Live Alone , Jonathan Jackson, Songwriters: Mary Gauthier / Gretchen Peters

One of the books I read near the end of last year was Charles Martin’s ’The Mountain Between Us’ which I enjoyed, and I’d had other books of his on my radar after reading some glowing reviews of his books, so when the opportunity arose to read his ‘Send Down the Rain’ I took it.

The prologue shares the beginning of this story, through the eyes of Joseph, who is nine; his brother Bobby was eleven, and the day their father leaves, taking most everything that was his.

When Bobby comes to share the news with Joseph, he brings a jug of milk and a package of Oreos. Comfort food. They ate their cookies, drinking out of the jug, sitting on the shore while the waves rolled up, stirring the breeze across their skin, trying to absorb the meaning of what had just happened.

”I made a fist, crushing a cookie. Grinding it to powder. When the pieces spilled out between my fingers onto the beach, a physical and very real pain pierced my chest.

Fifty-three years later, it would stop.”

Once upon a time, Joseph and Allie were young, with visions for the future despite the war raging, updates on the news every night. When Joseph left for Vietnam, he gave Allie his ’67 Corvette, with no strings. But years have passed since then, and the last time he was back home in Cape San Blas he walked in just in time to see his brother exchanging vows with Allie.

One night, he finds himself helping a young mother and her two young children get to Florida, where they have relatives who can help them. And as he is on his way back to his childhood home, he spies the billowing smoke filling the air of a recent collision between an 18-wheeler with a full load of oil and a rock wall made out of boulders meant to resist the heavy winds and beating rains of hurricanes. Eventually, he will be told that the driver was the second husband of Allie.

This is a tender story, filled alternately with heartbreak and love, with forgiveness offered, and received. A story of broken hearts, healing, and of the destructive nature of hate and war, and the healing force of love, and the healing power of redemption: at its heart, it is a re-imagining of the tale of The Prodigal Son.

The stories of Vietnam are the background of this story, the story of Joseph’s battles there, and the ones he faces upon his return, the ones he continues to fight on his own these many years later. There is another background story of undocumented immigrants. All of these are woven together with the themes of this story into a lovingly told story of a love and a life that were lost, and a path to a new life and love found.

Sometimes, as much as we want to let go of painful memories, we can’t seem to bring ourselves to let them go. Sometimes we have reasons that others would understand, but there are times that pain becomes an integral part of ourselves, and we become reluctant to let them go. Afraid of what comes after the letting go – will we just be empty, or will we find a healthier way to fill those holes?

Martin’s writing is somewhat unique in that he eschews profanity and doesn’t dwell on sex, but in this story he tackles some other issues including addiction, physical abuse, and PTSD, but nothing is overly graphic. There are some war scenes that include war-related events, but even these are shown without an abundance of gruesome details. I believe he has a large Christian following, which appreciate the uplifting, inspiring messages of his stories, but I think this story would appeal to anyone.

Pub Date: 08 MAY 2018

Many thanks for the ARC provided by Thomas Nelson Fiction
Profile Image for Dorie  - Cats&Books :).
991 reviews2,767 followers
May 27, 2018
This is the first book I’ve read by Mr. Martin but I had heard his storytelling was great. I was not disappointed.

Everyone has secrets but Joseph has more than anyone. He is a Vietnam veteran who didn’t really want to fight the war but did his job. He did and saw things that he can’t reconcile his mind and soul with. After four tours of duty he didn’t know what to do with his life now. “As hard as I’d tried, I knew that the evil in me was still there, still bubbling beneath the surface . . . .I had this funny feeling that killing myself wouldn’t kill it. It’d just jump from me to someone else. I’d seen it happen . ..So I thought If I just go away, take it with me, it can’t hurt anyone else”. So that is what he did. He went up into the mountains and lived in a small cabin with his dog, Roscoe, and lived a solitary life, his only happiness it seemed was enjoying nature and his dog and a certain radio show hosted by Suzy, who reached out to war veterans.

No matter how hard he tries trouble just seems to find Joseph, “Jo Jo” as everyone calls him. He finds a woman and her two children in the snow outside his cabin and rescues them. She was running from a man who had traumatized and brutalized her and her children, she was also an illegal immigrant. He helps Catalina and her kids find her brother in Florida and begin a new life with her family.

A long time ago Joseph had left his childhood sweetheart, Allie, behind when he went to war. Now he hears about the explosion of a huge tanker and knows that it is close to where Allie lives and in his heart he knows that he has to return to her. The truck explosion killed Allie’s second husband, she feels responsible for the way she had treated him and the last words that she said to him. Joseph helps her to reconcile her feelings, rebuild her restaurant and get back on her feet.

Everyone he touches he seems to help heal. The only one he can’t forgive or heal, is himself. This is a multi-layered story with many characters that were all well drawn. They were unique and yet identifiable, easy to relate to. Mr. Martin writes with such humanity, such emotion, that I got caught up in each individual story and was wondering how it would all come together.

When you learn of all that Joseph has been holding in his heart you will begin to understand the many ways that he suffered. This is his story but the PTSD in many veterans is also addressed here. It is about loyalty, love, shame, forgiveness. The ending is one I will not soon forget and I am still thinking about this story long after I’ve finished reading.

I received an ARC of this story through the publisher and Edelweiss.
Profile Image for Lisa.
622 reviews236 followers
April 23, 2018
Send Down The Rain
Charles Martin

MY RATING ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
PUBLISHER Thomas Nelson
PUBLISHED May 8, 2018

A masterful love story draped in sacrifice, secrets, suffering, solitude and healing.

Allie’s second husband is killed tragically when his 18-wheeler crashes into the rocks near their home in Cape San Blas, Florida. The tanker was full of fuel and the explosion could be seen a hundred miles away. Allie had already lost the beloved waterfront restaurant her parents started, and now losing her husband might just push her over the edge.

Joseph’s time in Vietnam left him with scars that will never heal. No matter what he does he can’t pull himself out of the wreckage of his former life. He is to far gone. He isolates himself in a remote and rustic cabin in North Carolina, and listens to a popular nighttime radio call-in show. After midnight one snowy evening Roscoe, Joseph’s dog, hears a sound from the woods. Joseph and Roscoe rescue a mother and her two children lost in the woods. He further helps them make their way back to family in Florida. While in Florida he is near enough to witness the fiery crash of the 18-wheeler. He knows that his childhood sweetheart may need him, but it’s been a long time and the secrets of his life may be to hard for her to bear.

It’s always a pleasure to read a book written by Charles Martin. Send Down the Rain is no exception. It is a powerful and moving story with a troubled and flawed character whose generosity and sacrifices will earn your respect and admiration. It’s a gritty and breathless ride with up and downs, exploring issues of family secrets, the struggles of Vietnam combat veterans, PTSD, abandonment and violence. Martin subtlety introduces issues of faith, compassion and forgiveness. Much of the book takes place on Cape San Blas, Florida which is my home away from home, and one of Florida’s best beaches, rocks and all! Charles Martin fans will love this one, as will anyone who appreciates love stories or family drama. Thanks to NetGalley, Thomas Nelson and Charles Martin for an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
May 8, 2018
"So one important lesson of Vietnam is, the first casualty of an unwise and unjust war are the American troops called on to fight it. Their service should be honored." (Paula Begala)

Forty five years is a very long time to hold a secret. For Joseph, a Vietnam War veteran, he has been plagued not only by this secret but also by the years he has been separated from the woman he loved, Allie, his brother, a now famous Senator, and the home he once knew and loved. Can Joseph ever go back? He is so scared by what he did, what he saw, and what he became in fighting this war.

Joseph is a wonderful man man who is tenderhearted and lives alone secluded in a cabin in the woods. He discovers a woman and her two young children lost and running from an evil drug cartel man. Joseph volunteers to see this family safely back to Florida where relatives and friends are migrant workers. Joseph witnesses the aftermath of a terrible accident, an accident that will reunite him with his lost love, Allie. She has, through the indiscretions of her husband lost everything, including her highly successful restaurant. Joseph pledges to help Allie rebuild and though the fires of their former love kindle, the secret Joseph carries will destroy what they once had.

This story was told with much compassion and a fine look into the torment that many veterans have. The Vietnam War, any war really, has not only destroyed and maimed millions, it has also left those who have returned home with scars that mar their life and their soul. Mr Martin has written a book that not only makes you feel and like his characters, but also makes one ever so cognizant of the sacrifices these brave men and women gave for their country. From the Vietnam War, so many of these soldiers who did come home came back to the scorn and vitriol of a country they had sworn to defend. Dreams are destroyed by war, hopes are often dashed, but the human spirit is strong and sometimes all that has been lost can be found once again.

Thank you to Charles Martin for a very emotional touching novel, Thomas Nelson Publishing, and NetGalley for providing me with and advanced copy of this novel.

Publishing May 8, 2018
Profile Image for Bridgett.
Author 19 books423 followers
February 24, 2020
Send Down the Rain was a February Book of the Month choice for my book club.

It's my first Charles Martin novel, and I was super excited to dive in since I'd heard such great things about him and his books. Unfortunately, I was less than impressed. Too many unfinished story lines, too much philosophical BS, highly implausible, and a dead dog...all these things left me feeling uninspired and not-at-all enthusiastic about reading more of this author's work.

This book had a very serious identity crisis. It simply couldn't decide upon which genre it should land. It was all over the place.

A hard pass for me.
2.5 stars rounded down
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Beth.
777 reviews316 followers
July 15, 2018
Send Down the Rain is an excellent novel of healing and second chances. Described that way, it may seem like the story is trite or typical, but I assure you, it's definitely not. The back cover copy may make you think that this story is about Allie, and it is in a way. But it's really about Joseph, a Vietnam veteran, a solider whose government denies his very existence. Plagued by memories and dreams of his time in a country that he wasn't supposed to be in, doing things that would shatter the staunchest heart, Joseph is alone. By being alone, he can keep himself from both harming others and moving on and healing - happiness and closure he feels he doesn't deserve for being the one who got to come home.

Joseph is such a strong character. His voice is so clear and distinct. When I would put the book down, I'd blink with the realization that he wasn't actually a real person. He's strong, in that he will protect others even if it means death for himself, yet vulnerable and unsure about how he will respond to the most mundane, day-t0-day situations. Afraid of his response to life in general, he has stayed away from Allie, his first love, until a chance occurrence sends him home because he knows she needs help, and if it's in his power to do so, Joseph feels compelled to help others.

The plot seems straightforward at first, but there are actually a lot of twists and turns that make it hard to put the book down. Truly there is a bit of everything in this story - love, friendship, sacrifice, and what it means to be a family. Martin chooses to tells some aspects of the story out of sequence, which almost fits the way Joseph's character chooses to acknowledge certain events, many significant turning points in his life. Allie seems to be the one constant in his life, despite many years of separation and misunderstanding. Many times I think if he'd just spoken instead of watched in silence, things might have turned out different for him.

If anything keeps this from being 5 stars is that some of it seemed almost a little far-fetched. I know it's fiction, but there were a few things that did feel like they could have only happened in a novel. In a story that felt otherwise realistic and altogether real, those things stood out to me. Other readers may not feel that way though, and it's definitely not enough to keep me from recommending this story. It does deal candidly and realistically with PTSD as an after effect of Joseph's several tours in Vietnam. It manifests itself in ways that are both dangerous to others and heartbreaking to Joseph, so if you're not in the mood to read about that, probably wait to pick this up.

I've only read two novels by Charles Martin thus far, and this one is my favorite, though Long Way Gone is very good and recommended as well. If you have any recommendation as to which of his books I should pick up next, let me know!

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a review, positive or otherwise. This review is my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Judy.
1,096 reviews
April 24, 2018
Charles Martin has crafted a beautiful story of sacrifice, forgiveness, love and redemption. He is becoming one of my favorite authors very quickly. I've only read this one and The Mountain Between Us, but both have been exceptional reads for me.

This story is about two brothers, Joseph and Bobby, whose father left their family when they were under ten years old. Their mother raised them as best she could. Joseph went off to Vietnam while Bobby ended up becoming a Senator. There is a secret buried deep in their past that no one knows. The background of the Vietnam War and Joseph's service there were heartbreaking and left innumerable scars on Joseph. He suffers from PTSD and has dealt with both abuse and addiction. This is also about Joseph and Allie who were inseparable growing up, but multiple things have kept them apart.

Martin's writing will steal your heart. The story has been said to be a re-imagining of the tale of The Prodigal Son. I highly recommend this book!

Many thanks to Charles Martin and Thomas Nelson - FICTION through Netgalley for an advance copy of this book.
Profile Image for Anna.
1,105 reviews92 followers
July 29, 2018
Allie and Joseph are broken down from life's disappointments, trying to deal with the traumatic experiences of their pasts. Allie has just lost her second husband in a tragic traffic accident. Joseph carries the demons from his four tours of duty during the Vietnam War. Joseph has isolated himself in a remote cabin in the mountains of North Carolina, his only company his dog Roscoe. When he hears a scream on a cold snowy night he discovers an illegal immigrant and her two children who are are on the run from a dangerous drug lord. Upon rescuing them something opens up in Joseph, leading him back to his childhood home in coastal Florida, and the one and only woman he has ever loved, Allie. And so begins a beautiful journey of compassion, redemption and second chances.
Charles Martin is a master storyteller who draws you deep into the emotions and lives of his characters.
I highly recommend this fabulous novel of grace and finding the courage to love completely.
Profile Image for Kathryn in FL.
716 reviews
October 29, 2021
Charles Martin is a new to me author and this stunning novel will have me reading more in the future.

Joseph is living alone, isolated from everything he once enjoyed. We don't know what his story is, why he is full of self-hatred but we have subtle clues that he has been responsible for the death of others. Living in a remote cabin in NC on a large mountain, he becomes involved in assisting a woman and her two young children escape attempted murder! In due time, he sees that they are safe and returns to his childhood home in Cape San Blas, a fictional island in the panhandle of FL (such a beautiful region of the state). It is there where he crosses paths with Allie, a former childhood friend and first love. She has just been widowed and he pieces together some details only to realize that her husband was not who she believed him to be. As a result, he helps her get closure.

Martin delivers an easy reading story that plums the emotions of this Vietnam Vets, PTSD and survivor guilt in a thoughtful manner. What I liked most was his ability to tie in the need for forgiveness of ourselves when we are responsible (even in the smallest way) for the harm of another (even when it is beyond our control). As a person with PTSD, I saw myself in Joseph's character. Like him, the hardest person in the world to forgive is the one in the mirror. There are the subtlest hints of the forgiveness we find in Christ, yet, Christ is never mentioned in the story. Yet, that message is present nonetheless. So many people avoid messages because the author's feel the need to preach at them, instead of ministering to them. This was the opposite of being preachy or in your face.

As I read this story I found myself comparing it to Francine Rivers style of writing. While Rivers is a bit more declarative in her novels, Martin is more subtle. Both create dynamic stories with everyday people struggling with life's challenges. The character's resemble you and I. While I found this a bit fanciful, I still enjoyed it and looked forward to learning what would happen next.
Though a totally different tale than Rivers "The Last Sin Eater", they both make the same point, we don't deserve forgiveness but we may have it, despite our humanity. I preferred this tale so much more.
Profile Image for Dale Harcombe.
Author 14 books298 followers
April 29, 2019
The story starts with two young brothers in 1964 trying to tune out the drama that is happening with their parents. Then it moves to the present day and a dramatic accident that leaves Allie Gibson stunned, before moving on to a Mexican family in North Carolina. The man, Juan Pedro, is a violent drug runner with a violent steak which he takes out on the woman, Catalina, her two children and anyone else who dares to cross him. Add to this mix of people Joseph, returned from Vietnam and his war experiences with memories and pain that haunts him. His initial resolve is to spend his time alone in the Carolina Mountains but life has other plans as he comes into contact with a Mexican family, a love from the past and his estranged brother, Bobby.
This is quite a hard book to read as it deals with a lot of violence, struggle, hardship and post-traumatic stress. It really brings home how deeply affected those who went to Vietnam were by the treatment they received when they returned. As the story progresses the reader is shown the softer side of Joseph that he too often attempts to keep hidden. Joseph is a complex character although some times he can tend to come across as a little too strong, too much of a super hero and therefore a little unbelievable. But maybe that was just my thoughts?
However I did enjoy getting to know Joseph, Allie, Catalina and especially her two children Diego and Gabriela. The story certainly kept my attention throughout. I had to know who it all worked out. Is the ending a little too pat? I’ll leave that to you to decide. Another well told story from Charles Martin. Even though I didn’t love it quite as much as some of this others, it is still a highly recommended read.
Profile Image for Laura Urban.
49 reviews
December 15, 2020
I have read all but one of Charles Martin's novels and it seems that his characters are the same people just recycled and put in different circumstances. I have loved many of his novels but this one surpasses my ability to suspend unbelief.
Profile Image for Sarita.
1,104 reviews637 followers
July 15, 2020
I keep thinking of this book and trying to get words to describe how I felt finishing this. For me it was almost like sushi... the first time I ate it, it was weird and okay, the next time it was better but somewhere between try number 3 and 5, I suddenly realised I loved it. This was the same for me with this author's writing. After the first 3 chapters I was thinking it is okay, maybe not really for me, somewhere in the middle I realised I'm into this story and liking it and then, when I finished this book I was left with feeling of loving this book and realising I've read more than what was actually written in this story.

Charles Martin has a different but clever writing style. You really have to focus on what he gives you as he gives you information throughout the book which affects different parts of the story. If you have an eye for attention for detail, you will follow and revelations will not be shocking. However, if you miss certain clues revelations at the end will be surprising.

I think what left me in awe at the end is that the author gives you a Christian message but it is between the lines and only after you finished the story you will feel emotionally touched by what you have read.

Jo-Jo was a strong, vulnerable, compassionate hero and there was a few times I felt heartbroken for him. Though he fought for others, he just accepted whatever came his way and let it be. I was very glad that at the end, certain characters stood up and fought for him.

I will definitely read more books by this author.
Profile Image for Lynn.
7 reviews5 followers
July 7, 2018
His earlier books are fantastic but the last few I’ve read are almost like they are rushed. This one was no exception. Way too unbelievable, phrases from other books repeated as well as using the same descriptive words several times. The first several chapters were gripping but as the story unfolded it became more and more outlandish and hurried. Very disappointed because Charles Martin is, in my opinion, a brilliant author.
Profile Image for Melissa (Catch Up Mode).
4,566 reviews1,872 followers
March 19, 2018
Martin's latest is another beautifully written winner. It is filled with emotion and a very realistic portrayal about the after-effects of the Vietnam War on Joseph. The story is told in a unique way with some surprising twists that keep the tale moving. Amazingly heartfelt statements about love, loss and the true meaning of friendship will resonate deeply with readers. Everything wraps up a bit too neatly overall, but this is a novel to savor and ponder.

Joseph Brooks survived multiple tours in Vietnam and now lives deep in the woods with his dog. He longs for the life he once strived for as a young man with the woman he loved back then. When he happens upon a woman and her children in the woods, he knows he must help them. Joseph takes them to meet up with family in Florida and, on his way back, he drives by his old hometown. He follows a smoke plume and finds that a tanker truck crashed against the rocks, incinerating the truck's owner. Joseph then discovers that the wife of the deceased trucker is none other than Allie, his long-lost best friend. As old friends reconnect and new friends forge alliances, the path toward a positive future is never smooth, but is always worthwhile
Profile Image for Deacon Tom F.
1,769 reviews133 followers
March 7, 2023

This is possibly the best book I have ever read. It touched my emotions in levels that I seldom knew was possible.

The plot is powerful. When it comes together, it knocked me off my feet.

I would put a bookmark in your current book and get a copy of this magnificent tale. You deserve it!
Profile Image for Staci.
1,701 reviews518 followers
September 5, 2018
At the heart of this novel is Joseph, a Vietnam Veteran dealing with PTSD. His struggles can be harmful to both himself and others. Realizing that he is a danger to others, he becomes essentially a recluse. That is until he stumbles upon a single mother in need. Caring for others is what Joseph does best.

Joseph's story is filled with pain and so many twists and turns. Secondary characters make the novel stronger. I especially loved Joseph's dog Rosco, single mother Catalina and radio personality Suzy.

While my favorite Charles Martin novels remain Long Way Gone and The Mountain Between Us, Send Down the Rain was a compelling novel and one I recommend. A huge thank you to my friend Beth for sending me this novel.
March 14, 2018
While finishing this story, I had tears in my eyes. This story was filled with passion, romance and hope for second chances. The characterization was top of the line and it had such unique characteristics that forces you to keep scrolling/turning pages to have more. Mystery, romance, passion, drama and intensity brought together brings you Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin.
I want to thank NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate this opportunity and all views expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Karen R.
597 reviews70 followers
July 12, 2020
Wow, what a tale! Masterful storytelling, with realistic characters, drama, and action made this a powerful read. A story that leaves a lasting impression.

Told in part with flash backs through the main character's point of view, the author brings the reader along for an amazing series of events in Joseph 'Jo-Jo' Brooks' life. There are some gritty moments, including war scenes and violence, key to understanding what has shaped his life and made him who he has become today. His acts of generosity, honor and compassion, demonstrate a sacrificial love for others, though he is a troubled soul fighting his own personal battles; a savior-like character seeking his own redemption. This really was his story, from childhood to the present, and his battle to heal, inside and out, including damaged relationships with his brother and childhood sweetheart. The destructive force of hate versus the healing power of love and forgiveness were clearly demonstrated in his life.
Difficult topics such as addiction, abuse, divorce, abandonment, and PTSD are included.

Recommend to adult readers who enjoy a story with realistic drama, including the Vietnam War era. A solid 5 star read!

(I received a complimentary e-book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. All views expressed are completely my own.)
Profile Image for Sue.
112 reviews
August 27, 2019
There's 9 hours and 6 minutes of my life I won't get back. Good grief, what a corny, contrived, implausible piece of .... fiction. It started out poorly and things went downhill from there. How is it possible this book has so many fans and 4- and 5-star ratings? It wasn't poorly written as much as poorly conceived and executed. All the characters were completely unbelievable, and they lacked any kind of reasonable motivation for anything they did. If fiction is the willful suspension of disbelief, this book failed on a grand scale.

Part of the problem may have been the narrator, Adam Verner. He enunciated well enough, be everything was overly melodramatic and insipid.

If you like overly dramatic, corny books with unreal and unbelievable heroes, knock yourself out. Everyone else, skip this one. I wish I had. My first and last Charles Martin book.
Profile Image for JD Sutter.
170 reviews24 followers
November 30, 2019
Oh my word! I think I've just discovered a new favorite author. Wow. I have no other words at the moment.

Liked it so much, I had my co-host read it as well and instead of writing a review we reviewed it on our podcast. Here is the link if you would like to check it out: http://www.bookwormbanquet.com/2019/0...
Profile Image for Missy.
311 reviews56 followers
February 21, 2019
Charles Martin did it again, such a great story . . . I haven't been through that many tissues in a long time. But this was a great story of one brother sacrificing himself for the other brother, sacrificing the love of his life so she did not pine for what could not have been. It is a story of love, siblings, hatred, forgiveness, and healing.

It follows the story of Joseph and his brother Bobby, and Joseph's girlfriend, Allie. How Joseph really is the protector of all. How his experiences in Vietnam led to his what is now known as PTSD, his almost anti-socialism, his wanting to be alone, but yet couldn't stay away from those he was felt needed his protection. By being alone he gained great wealth, and gave it when those he cared about needed it. But in it all he still had guilt for leaving those behind - at home and in Nam. It is a great story of second chances, of learning to forgive, that you can only protect those that want to be protected, and that even when you don't deserve it someone is thankful and someone does love you.

I enjoyed this book very much, and would recommend it highly to other readers. Being the child of a Vietnam Vet I can relate to a lot of the emotions Joseph felt, having witnessed them from my own father. The almost disrespect he felt coming home and being spit on, the guilt of actually making it home when a lot of their friends did not, and the happiness of seeing their loved ones knowing they are not the same person coming back.
Profile Image for Nora St Laurent.
1,390 reviews74 followers
November 17, 2018
Send Down the Rain is one of this authors’ best. I was hooked to this story from the first start, “Witnesses say the phone call occurred around seven p.m. and the exchange was heated.” This story is engaging, heart-felt filled with twists, turns and surprises.

I was captivated by the richness of the characters development, depth of human emotions, all of which quickly swept me into the novel and. I couldn’t put it down. This author is an exceptional story teller. I recommend this for book club. The author includes 13 discussion questions.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
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Profile Image for Jocelyn Green.
Author 30 books1,227 followers
August 7, 2018
Overall, I enjoyed Send Down the Rain. The first few chapters were a struggle for me, since I didn't know who the main character was until around chapter four. But once I gained my bearings in the story, I was hooked. Sometimes the writing style (lots of fragmentary sentences) was a bit distracting, and a few of the plot techniques reminded me of Long Way Gone, but Martin excels at making you care about what happens to the character. I appreciated his handling of the subject and theme. It could have been much darker, and I've read books that touched on similar topics which were, in fact, pretty hopeless. Send Down the Rain had all the redemption I could have hoped for. The metaphor of sacrifice and atonement was a powerful spiritual insight, even though it wasn't explicitly spelled out as a picture of Christ's atonement for us. The subtlety of it worked for me.
Profile Image for Kristen Freiburger.
417 reviews9 followers
April 6, 2021
PTSD is a real thing. My Dad was in Laos and the Ho Chi Minh trail all while attending MSU; Operation Ranch Hand. He never told his parents, brother, then girlfriend, roommate. His professors all knew of course and passed him without even being on campus for several tours. He was a disposable pawn. Years later he became an Assistant Attorney General for the SOM working on high profile cases such as PBB which is in direct contrast from Operation Ranch Hand. My Dad kept this all a secret for 55 years, even from my Mom. A few years ago, he sat us down and told us a small sliver of his horrific story. I read this book and my heart broke.
Profile Image for Anca Adriana Rucareanu.
286 reviews44 followers
March 22, 2020
Am terminat cartea asta cu lacrimi în ochi. A fost fix cartea de care aveam nevoie zilele astea. Am trecut peste momentele în care logica părea să scârtâie. Am luat doar ce aveam nevoie. Și asta a fost de ajuns.
Profile Image for Christie.
155 reviews6 followers
April 2, 2021
Charles Martin has become my favorite fiction writer. I'm always amazed at the depth of his characters. His books are not mindless beach reads and this book is no exception. There are several story lines that come together beautifully. There is joy, heartache, and plot twists along the way. Absolutely loved it.
Profile Image for Joleen.
2,044 reviews1,210 followers
February 20, 2019
There's good and bad about listening to an audiobook.
Good: If the narrator is great (as is the case with Adam Verner) then the story really comes alive.
Bad: The Kindle version allows underlining and searches for say, phrases or characters. Audio versions do not. I can't re-read sections to refresh my memory. I have bookmarked a few things to replay, but it’s not quite the same.
Anyway, on to the story...

Joseph spent four tours in Vietnam, much of it classified, many injuries, many medals and commendations, many kills, saving many lives. But returning to an anti-war United States meant jeers and protests, spitting and horrible name calling. Disgusted with his life and broken in many ways, he threw away all his medals and anything physical that would remind him of the reason he suffers from extreme PTSD.

Trying to return home was impossible as the love of his life had married another, and somewhere in there his mother died. So he lived as a hermit, but that was only after decades of everything he touched turning to gold. Any business venture he began (and there were a few) made him a wealthy man. He may have had more money than he could ever spend, but down deep he still felt unworthy, unloved and unable to pay back a debt beyond measure, because the past couldn’t be changed.

The characters are amazing, as with all Charles Martin books. I love that Joseph (Joe-Joe) had money enough to offer safety or steps-up to those who were in need, beginning with a woman and her two children running away from a drug lord from Juarez, Mexico, and then for a down-on-her-luck single mom waitress.

But what was most significant to me in this story was a beautuful illustration of Christ suffering the ultimate sacrifice for us, by coming to a place He was never meant to be, offering us a way out, and dying as He brought us to safety. (You might have to read the book to completely understand why I put it that way). Joseph always felt a deep need to repay a debt he felt he owed, but there was no way he could. He always felt broken and bad....always hoping to see himself as good, but never convinced he was...until the day he, through an amazing occurrence, finally felt deep abiding love. Through love he could have it all washed away, he could be in the presence of good, and could take on that good. Okay, yeah, I cried. I cried because when I think of Christ's sacrifice and His suffering for me, I’m humbled to the place of tears.

Mind you, this book was a bit different from the gentle Christian fiction books one might be used to. There are subjects he tackles that might make us cringe a little, or want to flip pages, or if it were in a movie we might want to turn away. So this is not a typical Christian book, nor did Mr. Martin come right out and talk of Christ. But it’s an illustration I liken to biblical illustrations in the Narnian Chronicles, where Christ is never mentioned, but you know who Asian symbolizes and what it means. Only this is a bit more earthy than anything by CS Lewis 😉.

I thought to myself as I was "reading" it how different it was. I was wondering if maybe Mr. Martin's writings had wandered too far into the secular. But in the end, as he tackled how true evil keeps people in bondage, and as we can see the only way out of that bondage, he brought it all together and I felt not only a deep relief, but a satisfaction that this, as always, is still the amazing story teller that is Charles Martin.

Addendum... I love when authors give a book a title that is significant, especially when it helps us remember what the book was really about. But I have to admit, this one stumped me. I mean there's a part near the end of the book when this phrase in the title is mentioned a couple times, but I’m at a loss to know what it means. I’m not a Greek thinker. I don’t think philosophically nor abstractly. I’m more of a Hebrew thinker. Give me illustrations and words to explain things. Praying for God to send down the rain when the two people talking are facing the hardest thing in their life while standing in a cold pouring rain, made me scratch my head.

Ah well.
Profile Image for Chris.
656 reviews15 followers
September 27, 2018
I loved this book. I loved the characters. I also so loved Rosco, the dog. I don’t know if I can actually do a review that gives this book its justice. This author has such a wonderful way with his words and expressing emotions (this from his male perspective). I enjoy his books.

What I have to say is that this story is very well done. It is interesting and action packed. The main character, Joseph, is a tortured but bad ass soul with military medals and high honors galore. He is hardened from his childhood, his military experience and things he had to do that really were not his own decisions. With that, he has hurt himself and others. He considers himself unworthy of love, pleasure, happiness; he’s lost his heart and his soul.

At the start of the book, he is living a life of solitude, away from people, noise and more heartbreak. That is, until one day, when he hears noises outside his cabin and his instincts kick in and here we go. His story is slowly and sadly revealed, and it’s a good story.

There is one particular military experience from the jungle that haunts him to this day; one he’s had to live with all his life, and which causes his PTSD. A day arrives when it all finally is brought to light. And oh, the effects it has, it sends a wave vibrating not just to people close to him, but around the world. He becomes a media sensation, much to his dismay. He is a hero, though he always feels he is not. He guards and protects secrets fiercely so as not to hurt others. He is a very smart, humble, grateful man. As we read through the story, he helps those he comes across in need in various ways; money, advice, protection, jobs, etc. but it wasn’t always like that. It’s now that he’s getting older and the truth is slowly coming out, he wants to pay things forward even more, make some things right again - not just his own life - but in other people’s lives who really need it.

The ending is unexpected and earth shattering; albeit a happy ending after all the sorrow and pain. In the end, the truth will set you free and my dear Joseph Brooks, it’s been long overdue for you. You’ve carried the heavy load in your head and heart for way too long. It’s time to live and love, unburdened, and to set yourself free.
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