In this post I am experimenting with my writing and reviewing style do let me know whether its a YAY or NAY.
OKAY so this is the very first Sandra Brown book that I have read and from what I've heard Rainwater is quite a different one from her usual writing style. I can't really comment on that, but honestly I was a bit disappointed, as from what I have heard Sandra Brown is an amazing author whose stories captivates you and stays with you for long. Ironically I did not experience all that..ALAS! How sad :(
The start was well set-up. The suspense, the motivation, the time reference ,all laid the necessary build-up to the main story to follow. It starts with an old man recalling a story set in 1934, when the country faced a Great Depression accompanied by drought. The Federal Government came up with a Drought Relief Service, by which they bought cattle from farmers who found it expensive to keep the cattle and those animals unfit for consumption were killed.
Ella ran a boarding house, where she also stayed with her autistic son, Solly. Solly's autism has always been a cause of concern for Ella, but autism didn't have a name then nor was there much research on the topic. The story is very slow paced. Ella's relationship her boarders and her son were well captured and very well described.
David Rainwater arrives in the story as a mystery. He has an illness, he helps Solly while almost everyone else scoffs him. All of what we see of David Rainwater is through Ella's eyes, so he is as much a gray figure to me initially as he is to Ella.
There is not very much story as in any momentous event that happens. This books is about Ella as she tries to grapple with her feelings as a woman aching to be loved. This book is about Solly as he observes things once and remembers them. This book is about Rainwater as he helps Ella, Solly and even the farmers who are being terrorized by Conrad Ellis, who even has the Sheriff in his pocket.
Although the racial troubles are essential themes of the book, they are more felt along the edges of the story, rather than as a centerpiece. Other than occasionally turning up at certain phases of the story, the racial segregation between the whites and blacks did not feature a prominent presence.
The book itself is very very slow paced but the ending was very rushed. Even till page 248, I was waiting for something to happen that will give closure to the story. When it does happen, it's all over in a few pages. There were so many characters whose disposition and bearings should have been summed up. Moreover, although the story started with a pocket watch, there is no mention of it in the story that the old man says.
Overall, this is a very short read, only 256 pages. pretty well researched I must say. If you enjoy character-oriented and relationship-focused themes, this book should be for you. On the other hand, do not expect anything huge to happen, as nothing of monstrous proportions happens till well into the last third of the book. This book is more about the little things that build up to the climax, setting the stage to certain important events.