Another book club choice that I admit I probably never would have picked up if not for book club! Thanks book club friends for picking this because I really enjoyed it!
Based in the 1930’s and following a single mother (Ella) who owns and operates a boarding house, there were times when I got so wrapped up in the story I hardly remembered it was a period piece. Mr. Rainwater, an ailing man from out of town comes to live with Ella while he waits out his imminent death. While Ella is reluctant to let him in, his time with her changes her life forever. Be sure to read the prologue and the epilogue, they are part of the story and you’ll be sad if you miss out! I learned in book club that some people skip the prologue and epilogue and that completely shocked me, I’m the type of person who read every piece of the book including all the dedications, quotes, and acknowledgements! If it’s a particularly good book that I don’t want to be over, I’ll even read any discussion questions included and the “about the author” piece!
Ella is a very strong character, being a single mother during the 1930’s was not an everyday occurrence and especially the single mother of a special needs child (her son Solly has a form of autism, although back in that time they didn’t understand it and thought he was mad). Her struggle to support Solly and maintain a professional relationship with her boarders illustrates the kind of strength that defines her character.
Mr. Rainwater is good in the same manner as Atticus Finch. I loved him from the beginning and through to the end and in all the details of his subtly in between.
The story is engrossing to the point where it doesn’t matter what time period it takes place, but Sandra Brown is able to add historical details that only enhances the story. From the particulars of the shantytown to the mass cattle graves, the story comes to life with beautiful detail.
As I’ve said before, being part of a book club has been such an amazing experience! I love reading and sharing reactions and thoughts with others who love to read too! Can’t wait for the next book!
*Note: I read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover (book 20/50) but didn't feel the need to blog about it.