Rainwater is a love story with angst in the best sense. Our heroine is Ella, a woman abandoned by her husband and raising a child who’s got autism. Ella is the best type of heroine, courageous, determined, driven and without any self-pity. Her lot in life isn’t easy. She works from sunrise to sunset while keeping careful watch over her little child. She runs a home and has tenants but, while that wouldn’t be a big deal today, this story is set in 1934. Times were a little different then.
Ella has to fight the prejudice of the town against her son and against her self. To have clean clothes, she has to wash them by hand, then use a wringer to get the water from them, then hang them to dry, then cook up starch and then finally iron them. Just reading the list of chores that one item took her made me feel tired.
The book starts with the arrival of Mr. Rainwater who changes Ella’s life. He’s a man looking for a quiet place to live until things in his life settle (I don’t want to give anything away here so I’m being vague on purpose). He’s a fantastic hero, determined and courageous even when the odds are stacked heavily against him.
I cried with this book. Horrible things happen. It’s the depression and cattle die–in horrid ways. Racism is rampant and people die. In the middle of it, Ella and Mr. Rainwater try to protect each other and help those around them.
It’s a slow moving book, just like the summers in Texas, but it’s a page turner. I ate this one up in one sitting. Just like the slow pace of the book, Ella and Mr. Rainwater slowly fall in love. It was beautiful to read.
It’s a wonderful, sad love story and I highly recommend this book. Though it’s not the usual type for Sandra Brown, I still think it’s so worthwhile.
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