According to the authors own words, “Rainwater” was a novel written between novels. Having never read any of her previous work I was surprised when she said it was different from anything else she’d ever written. Finishing the last sentence I would have thought stories such as this were as much a part of her repertoire as fantasy is to Terry Brooks or crime and suspense to James Patterson. When I did a little digging around I discovered that her usual genre to be murder/thriller’s, making this a fairly significant departure from the norm.
As reads go I’m glad she did. Not one for gushy romances and prolonged sex scenes I found Browns story about a single mother, her autistic son and terminally ill border during the Great Depression to be both refreshing and touchingly sweet (I know…I hate those two words too, but what can I say…they work.).
Unlike author’s Alexandria Szeman, Erin Morgenstern, or James Levine there wasn’t anything in this author’s writing style I found particularly exceptional except…for the simplicity of a well told story. Instead of tangling the reader’s psych with lots of over used history lessons and a plethora of descriptive prose she simply tells the story of a woman caught up in the drought torn poverty of 1934 America trying to support herself and an emotionally detached son by running a boarding house. Into this controlled existence of providing for body and soul comes a kind and gentle man who, like a dying animal, is looking for a quiet place to live out his remaining days.
If there were anything that really stood out for me about this book, other than the story itself, was Brown’s ability to show me her character’s personalities in such a way, had I met most of them on the street, I would have in all likelihood immediately known who they were. Like an impressionistic painter she used the texture of light, color, and movement to give each one substance and depth.
As my reader’s know, I’m always on the look out for new authors and based upon my experience so far, I think Sandra Brown is well worth as second read.
On a scale of 1-5 stars I’m giving “Rainwater” a solid 4.