I’ve always loved to read and it’s a little known fact that I’d love to one day write a book myself. I’ve periodically reviewed books on here over the years on my own, but when this blogging journey allowed me in recent months to have books actually sent to me for my consideration, it has been so exciting! The coolest part is getting books before they even hit the shelves – advanced reader copies. Such was the case with this book Send Down the Rain. It comes out today! I finished the book just in time for today’s release to give you some of my thoughts.
Send Down the Rain tells the story (and is narrated by) Joseph or Jo-Jo – a 62 year old Vietnam veteran. Originally from a coastal town in Florida, Jo-Jo has spent decades trying to outrun his past only to find himself not only confronted by it, but running in to it head on. Part of his past involves childhood love, Allie, who has battled her own demons over the years.
The novel follows Jo-Jo as he comes to terms with his inner struggles and all the decisions he’s made in the past, whether to protect others or himself. It’s a story about sacrifice and putting your love for others above your own well being and happiness.
I really enjoyed the book and it was definitely a page turner. I even brought it with me to work so I could read a little here and there whenever I had a break! I liked that the chapters were pretty short so they were easy to manage on these little spurts of reading time. I was done with the 300+ book in no time because it was hard to stop reading!
At times I felt like the story was cliché, but still enjoyable. Then, there was a big twist I didn’t see coming and at that point I really couldn’t put it down! After I recovered from the initial shock of the twist, I made an (accurate) prediction of what had happened. Of course, I won’t be telling you – you’ll have to read it for yourself!
The author, Charles Martin, has a way with description. I really liked how descriptive and rich his language is without being overly drawn out or superfluous. I picked out a few examples from the text.
When talking about flying his fallen friends home from Vietnam/Laos:
Somewhere in that process, the place in my heart that felt things like love and desire died. It just quit feeling.
When talking about closing a carnival he had built:
This was never intended to be this way. It was designed to be something else. Something better. But when I killed the power, it froze. Stuck here in time.And what was once alive and warm became dead and cold to the touch. Like me. Or at least parts of me.
I swear it isn’t all doom and gloom! Here’s a quote where Jo-Jo is feeling more hopeful:
Love rushes in where others won’t. Where the bullets are flying. It stands between. Pours out. Empties itself. It scours the wasteland, returns the pieces that were lost, and it never counts the cost.
Jo-Jo has plenty of reasons to be angry with the world, with the people around him. And don’t get me wrong, he has quite a bit of anger in him. But, the underlying theme here is that no matter what you’ve gone through, there is a way to move on and find happiness again. In the end, we all deserve to be happy even when we think we don’t.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading Send Down the Rain. I’d love to check out more books by Charles Martin.
*This book was sent to me complimentary, but all opinions are my own.*