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review 2017-11-16 02:49
The Gift of Rain
The Gift of Rain - Tan Twan Eng



I tried about 75 pages of this over the last week and it is not doing anything for me for the following reasons:


1. This is a slow-build of a novel at a time when I am not in the mood for a slow-paced, potentially over-written story.


2. Although the story is set in Penang and I have an interest in the place, it seems to be rather similar to Tan Twan Eng's second book The Garden of Evening Mists, which also deals with a WWII setting. 


3. I have a feeling that I can guess where this story is going, and if I am right, it will be very similar to The Harmony Silk Factory. Too similar for my liking. 


So, I am going to set this one aside for a book that does not feel like a repetition right now.


No rating.

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review 2017-11-13 18:18
"The Scent Of Rain And Lightning" by Nancy Pickard
The Scent of Rain and Lightning: A Novel - Nancy Pickard

"The Scent of Rain and Lightning," tells the story of the misfortune that strikes the Lindner family, the richest ranchers in a failing Kansas town and the impact it has on those who survived it. It is filled with secrets and anger and grief but still manages to find a little room for love and forgiveness.


It has a powerful, sometimes almost overwhelming atmosphere that raises it above a murder mystery into an experience of the damage done by violence, lust and selfishness and the possibility of hope that can be realised only by setting hate aside.


The story is woven between the 1980's when a murder is about to take place and twenty-three years later when the man convicted of the murder is about to be released and returned home.


The first third of the book is heavy with foreboding and loss. You can see the storm coming in the first timeline and smell the pain-etched trail it will leave behind.

The Kansas landscape in which the book is set, with its vast skies and huge storms, is almost a character in the book. It drives the plot, colours the emotions and shapes the characters.


The language of the book is rich without being cloyingly lyrical. It's an excellent book to read aloud, savouring the descriptions that evoke the place and the dialogue that makes each character distinct.


I've seen comments that the ending is anticlimatic, with everything tied up just a little too neatly but I thought the ending offered quiet, credible, continuity and the unrolling of the plot was satisfying if a little less credible.


The book, a rare standalone novel from Nancy Pickard, was released in 2010. The video below is an interview with Nancy Pickard talking about how and why she wrote the book.


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbNvYyF5480&w=560&h=315]


In 2017, the book was turned into a film (shot, for reasons that escape me, in Oklahoma)


scent of rain and lightning movie poster

You can see the trailer below (which contains a little more information that I'd care to have before reading the book) but which looks like an atmospheric movie.


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHi9Ecs0ucs&w=560&h=315]


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review 2017-10-17 14:46
Would You Sell Yourself To Save Your Family? Rain Would...
The Color of Rain - Cori McCarthy
Teenager Rain lives in a dark world where many of the people catch an illness that robs them of their memory not unlike alzheimer's.  She has already lost both parents and a brother and she is now about to lose her younger brother, the only family she has left. She does what she has to find a cure and save him even if that means she has to sell herself to do it.


I had never really read a story like this.  I usually stay away from sci-fi but I was pleasantly surprised with The Color Of Rain. The fact that Rain goes to any extreme to save her brother, her friend and sometimes herself was a little shocking to me. The story had a darkness to it.  Just when you thought things might get better it got a little worse.


The Color Of Rain is another ones of those stories that falls in the category wanting more after finished. I wanted a sequel.  It ends well enough but I just wanted to know what else happened. I am also a little surprised it is considered a young adult book.  It does have some heavy adult themes.


I finished the book a few months ago and the story still sticks with me. Which to me means it was a good read.  My mind still wanders to the characters wondering what they are doing.  Or if I would sacrifice myself for my family the way Rain did. The story cuts deep and shocks your core a little but worth a read.


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review 2017-09-19 19:03
Rain Dance (Tulsa Thunderbirds) Catherine Gayle
Rain Dance (Tulsa Thunderbirds Book 5) - Catherine Gayle


She pushes hot buttons, tortures your heart and inspires devotion, Catherine Gayle is good at getting noticed.  Just when it seems that your emotions cannot stand another blow, Rain Dance entrances your soul.  Ethan is no hero, but he is a good man and an ever evolving parent.  Natalie wants to be happy.  She longs to be loved, yet her choices keep holding her back.  Ethan and Natalie will leave you emotionally spent, but yearning for more.  The baggage is heavy but the reward is worth the load. (4.5 stars)

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review 2017-09-19 14:25
Kiss Me In The Rain (Destined for Love: Mansions) by Lindzee Armstrong
Kiss Me in the Rain (Destined for Love: Mansions) - Lindzee Armstrong


It's hard to control your own destiny when fate has other plans.  Lindzee Armstrong can always be counted on to keep the laughs going and the drama flowing.  Kiss Me In the Rain brings more emotion than usual.  Tyler and Layla are caught in the eye of a storm that seems to have no end in sight.  The heart is the deciding factor, but along the way encounters with danger await and adorable heads right into trouble. Laugh your way into love is a motto that Ms. Armstrong takes to heart and that mantra influence every story she writes.

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