Synopses & Reviews
The year is 1934. With the country in the stranglehold of drought and economic depression, Ella Barron runs her Texas boardinghouse with an efficiency that ensures her life will be kept in balance. Between chores of cooking and cleaning for her residents, she cares for her ten-year-old son, Solly, a sweet but challenging child whose misunderstood behavior finds Ella on the receiving end of pity, derision, and suspicion.
When David Rainwater arrives at the house looking for lodging, he comes recommended by a trusted friend as "a man of impeccable character." But Ella senses that admitting Mr. Rainwater will bring about unsettling changes.
However, times are hard, and in order to make ends meet, Ella's house must remain one hundred percent occupied. So Mr. Rainwater moves into her house...and impacts her life in ways Ella could never have foreseen.
The changes are echoed by the turbulence beyond the house walls. Friends and neighbors who've thus far maintained a tenuous grip on their meager livelihoods now face foreclosure and financial ruin. In an effort to save their families from homelessness and hunger, farmers and cattlemen are forced to make choices that come with heartrending consequences.
The climate of desperation creates a fertile atmosphere for racial tensions and social unrest. Conrad Ellis -- privileged and spoiled and Ella's nemesis since childhood -- steps into this arena of teeming hostility to exact his vengeance and demonstrate the extent of his blind hatred and unlimited cruelty. He and his gang of hoodlums come to embody the rule of law, and no one in Gilead, Texas, is safe. Particularly Ella and Solly.
In this hotbed of uncertainty, Ella finds Mr. Rainwater a calming presence. She is moved by the kindness he shows other boarders, Solly...and Ella herself. Slowly, she begins to rely on his soft-spokenness, his restraint, and the steely resolve of his convictions.
And on the hottest, most violent night of the summer, those principles will be put to the ultimate test.
From acclaimed bestselling author Sandra Brown comes a powerfully moving novel celebrating the largess and foresight of a great bygone generation. It tells a story that bears witness to a bittersweet truth: that love is worth whatever price one must pay for it.
"Bestseller Brown (Smash Cut) brings Depression-era Texas to vivid life in this poignant short novel. At the recommendation of Dr. Murdy Kincaid, Ella Barron, a hardworking woman whose husband deserted her, accepts David Rainwater, a relative of the doctor's, as a lodger at the boarding house she runs in the small town of Gilead, Tex. As the local community contends with a government program to shoot livestock and the opposition of racist Conrad Ellis, a greedy meatpacker, to poor families butchering the meat, Ella grows closer to David. Meanwhile, David becomes a special guardian angel to Solly, Ella's nine-year-old autistic son. Dr. Kincaid has gently suggested Ella put Solly in an institution, but she refuses to do so. Brown skillfully charts the progress of Ella and David's quiet romance, while a contemporary frame adds a neat twist to this heartwarming but never cloying historical." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"A warm, nostalgic detour from the suspense queen's comfort zone...satisfying." -- People magazine (three stars out of four)
"Bestseller Brown (Smash Cut) brings Depression-era Texas to vivid life in this poignant short novel.... Brown skillfully charts the progress of Ella and David's quiet romance, while a contemporary frame adds a neat twist to this heartwarming but never cloying historical." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Brown, a master of contemporary romantic suspense, makes a huge genre leap.... Many will be irresistibly drawn in by this mesmerizing little fable." -- Booklist
"Brown demonstrates her incredible breadth of talent and versatility with this touching tearjerker. A quiet, tender story." -- Romantic Times Book Reviews
"(A) masterful tale. This beautifully written period piece [is] a parable perfect to showcase Sandra Brown s newly displayed brilliance as a skilled lyricist as well as storyteller." -- Providence Journal-Bulletin (Rhode Island)
"Author Sandra Brown has the golden touch.... Rainwater has a deeply personal feel to it, and there's a careful, loving tone that caries through in its simplicity.... A beautiful little tale with an engaging, timeless feel that's as comfortable as warm apple pie. Here's hoping Brown writes in this style again." -- Deseret News (Salt Lake City)
A romantic historical novel from bestselling thriller-master Sandra Brown, about an independent woman who runs a boarding house in Dust Bowl Texas.
A historical novel from bestselling, award-winning author Brown, "Rainwater" follows an independent woman who runs a boarding house in Texas.
About the Author
Sandra Brown is the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers--including most recently Smash Cut, Smoke Screen, Play Dirty, Ricochet, Chill Factor, White Hot, Hello, Darkness, The Crush, and Envy. She is the recipient of the 2008 Thriller Master Award from International Thriller Writers, Inc. She and her husband live in Arlington, Texas.