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Rainwater by Sandra Brown

Rainwater (edition 2009)

by Sandra Brown (Author)

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9125117,594 (3.89)40
In a time of drought and economic depression in 1934, Ella Barron runs her boardinghouse in Texas while caring for her son, Solly, and responds to the calm influence of one of her boarders, David Rainwater, while facing the tension and uncertainty around her.
Authors:Sandra Brown (Author)
Info:Simon & Schuster (2009), Edition: First Edition first Printing, 256 pages
Collections:Your library

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Rainwater by Sandra Brown


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Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
Beautifully written story which could have been depressing but managed to be hopeful in the end. I'm not a Sandra Brown fan, but found her description of Depression era hardships, racial conflicts, and the difficulties of dealing with a "special child" to be heartbreaking while at the same time affirming the basic goodness of humankind. would recommend. ( )
  tututhefirst | Jun 5, 2020 |
In this poignant, beautifully written novel, Brown takes a detour from her usual contemporary romantic suspense thrillers and gives readers a moving, historical cinematic-styled story. Now, I should mention that this is the first story I have read by the author, so I cannot speak to the author's writing shift except to say that it was mentioned in the forward as something different the author undertook to write in between two contracted books. The end result is a solid piece of historical literary fiction. Yes, there are some elements of sexual tension/ romance between Ella and David (cannot expect a romance novelist to keep characters chaste, even in a genre-shift), but these are secondary elements as Brown focuses on some tough issues such as poverty, bigotry, corruption, racism and bullying. Ella's 10-year-old son Solly is an idiot savant (keep in mind, autism was not recognized as a medical disorder until 1942, 8 years after the setting for this story) so the story also focuses on Ella's struggles as a single parent to care for and raise Solly at home in an era where individuals like Solly were shut away in institutions.

While the story is wonderfully written and has a quiet, contemplative story-telling aspect that I tend to love, it doesn't get full marks from me. I found the characters to be on the wooden side, lacking the depth and development I would have loved to see. Also, parts of the depression era setting are just a bit too perfect and orderly. Great for a cinematic experience but somehow seems just a little too perfect, right down to the planned tear-jerker ending for this bittersweet tale.

Overall, a quick reading, historical literary fiction that may appeal to readers looking for books set during the Great Depression (this one is set in 1934). ( )
  lkernagh | Apr 11, 2020 |
I was sent a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.

This is the first time I've read a Sandra Brown book and romance is not normally my go-to genre but this is claimed to be different from the author's usual fare.

I found it to be a well-crafted story written in an easy to read style which flowed perfectly. I found it really difficult to put down and finished it over two days.

From early on in the book you just know that it isn't going to end happily but by then it has sucked you in to the narrative and even though you feel you know exactly where it is going it still has time to deliver a twist right at the end.

I'm so glad I decided to read this one as it was a welcome change from the usual thrillers and detective novels I usually read. ( )
  KevinCannon | Nov 5, 2018 |
Book on CD performed by Victor Slezak

In 1934 in central Texas, Ella Barron runs a boardinghouse. She’s a particular woman in the way the cleans and runs her home. She respects the privacy of her tenants and expects the same in return. She is devoted to her only son, 10-year-old Solly, who does not speak and is prone to “fits” or tantrums. Doctor Kincaid introduces her to David Rainwater, the doctor’s distant cousin, who is seeking a quiet, peaceful place for a few months.

This is an interesting look at small town prejudice and bullying in tough times. The Depression hit everyone hard. Some wealthy individuals weathered it with little disturbance; a few greedy people saw a way to profit from the distress of others. Many lost their homes / farms / jobs, and lived in shanty towns, staving off hunger by the generosity of others and their own hard work.

Everyone in the boardinghouse is intrigued and charmed by Mr Rainwater, who has fine manners and a pleasant, calm disposition. Only Ella knows the truth, for Dr Kincaid has confided that Rainwater is dying. New to town, he still manages to have a great influence, leading by example in the face of bigotry, bullying and a corrupt sheriff. He also finds ways to penetrate Solly’s isolation, identifying the routines that capture the boy’s attention and help to calm him. Ella and Rainwater are drawn to one another, despite her instincts to remain aloof and apart from her tenant.

Brown is best known as a romance writer, and there is some romance here. But it is more of an historical fiction work than a traditional romance, despite the sexual tension between the two main characters. Brown does a credible job of exploring some important issues, though she does tend to rely on some of the romance tropes and stereotypical characters. She also does a fine job of describing the landscape of central Texas during the Depression. I could almost feel the gritty dust in the air and was reminded of visiting my grandparents and having the chore of “watering the street” to keep the dust down on hot summer afternoons.

Victor Slezak does a fine job performing the audio. His voice tends towards the bass register, so he’s great when voicing any of the male characters, but he manages a credible voice for the many women in the novel as well. At first, I thought his pace was too slow, but I quickly came to think it was perfect for this work. ( )
  BookConcierge | May 3, 2018 |
Simple, heart wrenching love story during the 30s with memorable characters you'll grow to love, need almost! There will be tears. ( )
  valxoxo | Apr 15, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
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To Daddy who inspired to story.
And to Mop who inspired me.
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"By any chance, is your pocket watch for sale?"
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In a time of drought and economic depression in 1934, Ella Barron runs her boardinghouse in Texas while caring for her son, Solly, and responds to the calm influence of one of her boarders, David Rainwater, while facing the tension and uncertainty around her.

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