Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What I'm Reading Wednesday

First of all, apologies to Cherry Adair and Janice Maynard - your books were the ones I happened to read just before and after Rainwater and unfortunately I am going to spend my time raving about Rainwater.

I finished Night Shadow by Cherry Adair. Her stories are always action packed!

I'm now reading Mating Game by Janice Maynard. I'm curious where this story is going.

The highlight of my week (probably my year, LOL) was RAINWATER by Sandra Brown.
I had this book loaded on my reader for several weeks but hesitated to read it. I'd heard it was quite different for Sandra Brown and I love all her contemporary stories, so was reluctant to read something set during the Depression, afraid I wouldn't like it.

I loved it.

I started tearing up about half way through the story and was literally sobbing out loud at the end. My family was rolling their eyes at me (there goes Mom again). I wanted to analyze the story and figure out why it was so moving, but every time I started thinking about it I started crying again.

Last week I mentioned how one book I'd read hadn't been all that satisfying, and I questioned what made the main male character in that story a "hero". Well, I could start listing all the things that made David Rainwater a hero and probably couldn't even list them all. As a start:
- the time and patience and care he shows for Solly
- the encouragement he gives to Ella about Solly
- the things he does to help Ella
- the way he got involved with the farmers in the area and led them in their efforts to stand up to the "town bully"
- the way he personally stands up to the town bully, knowing that physically he is at a disadvantage
- the way he lived the end of his life with strength and honour and dignity and courage
- and the one that just wrenches my heart - read the book - his sacrifice at the end will grab you by the throat

Ella is a true heroine, too. She is a strong woman who leads her life with courage and honor and dignity despite all the hardships she has had to endure - her son, her husband, how hard she has to work to support her family. Things like her lack of prejudice in such a different time, her generosity in giving food and clothing to the people in the shanty town, her willingness to take a boarder into her home who is dying, her determination to keep her son with her despite her worry and fears for him, and most especially her refusal to allow herself to give in to self pity, all show her heroic courage. Her faith and determination to get her son to respond to her maternal love touched me so deeply. Imagine loving your child with all your heart and not knowing if he even realizes that. Of coures, in the end, Solly does show he loves her - she gets what she wants, but with such a heartbreaking outcome. And most of all - her willingness to fall in love even knowing what the end will be - her acceptance that just because the ending of the story is sad, it's still worth reading the book.

Neither of them is perfect - which also makes them heroic, in my mind.

This is one of those stories that will stay with me for a long, long time.

The other book I'm flipping through right now is called Write Mind - 299 Things Writers Should Never Say to Themselves. It gives write mind suggestions for "wrong thinking" and it's very positive.
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