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The One-Way Rain by Cathy Jacobowitz
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The One-Way Rain

by Cathy Jacobowitz

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I won a copy of The One-Way Rain in a LibraryThing.com member giveaway last year, but circumstances prevented me from engaging with it fully and finishing it until now. At long last, I can fulfill my promise to publish an honest review as recompense for the free read. As it turns out, author Cathy Jacobowitz's little-known dystopian novel commanded my high regard by the conclusion. This is a great novel that introduces the fine craftsmanship of a writer destined to attract a substantial fanbase if only more people read some of her work.

Like other readers who have posted reviews about this book, I would not call it a pageturner. Jacobowitz did not easily capture my imagination; I couldn't get into the story at the very beginning. I had to re-start the book a couple of times after reading the beginning and then setting it aside. It seems that some other folks found Jacobowitz's storytelling disorienting at times; however, I did not experience this difficulty myself. Once I got into the story, the narrative didn't lose me at any point thereafter.

Despite the so-so start to The One-Way Rain I urge fellow readers to pick this book up because I know I'd have been very sorry to have missed its several remarkable strengths overall. Specifically, Jacobowitz handles weighty themes like racism and corporate cultural control incredibly deftly. They are at the heart of the story, but the unfolding of that story -- and not these "Big Ideas" -- are always placed in the forefront of the narrative. The themes come across organically as the book progresses so that they inevitably are interwoven with the reader's engagement with this particular tale. This is first-class fiction and not a sociological treatise.

More elemental to the book's success are the great, super-relatable --indeed very likable, IMHO -- and most impressively, STRONG female heroes. I know that not every author one reads these days can produce such memorable, realistic human specimens wholesale from her imagination. If the plot sounds interesting to you now, dear reader, I think you'll be grateful after taking this journey with Jacobowitz. Check it out. Thanks for reading my thoughts; I hope they are at least somewhat helpful. ( )
  kara.shamy | Oct 23, 2014 |
This slim book was tangled, and not as clear as I would have liked. There are three people whose stories we follow in a jumbled fashion. They are tangled, with time treated as just another ingredient in the mix. Things happen to one character, then to another much later in the story, and when the event is the same for both, it gets a little strange.
I am glad I don't live in this imagined world. I don't care for the massive amount of intrusive advertising that currently exists on the world wide web. I would go crazy with those ads crawling on my walls too. ( )
  susanbeamon | Feb 2, 2014 |
2013. Brilliant book. In an America-gone-wrong in 2023 there's exists an apartheid state. Right here in New England, people of color are living in an inland forced-work-camp area, making the products the rest of us consume. Back on the other side of the wall advertising, now called Pop Show, is everywhere, and Sterling is a secret saboteur, working sometimes for years, just to take down a few jumbo-tron like screens of advertising for a few hours. When Sterling (white female) meets Lore (black female) non-violent revolutionary from inside the apartheid area, seual sparks fly as they argue about what to do to change their worlds. It's poignantly tragic how little they really can do in this world of horrifying limitations. Must read. Reminds me a little of The Handmaid's Tale except it's a racially split world rather than religious. ( )
  kylekatz | Jul 9, 2013 |
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To my person, Kyle Katz.
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Lady Hazel, slender dreadlocks twined with flowers, comes to announce it is market day.
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