Saturday, May 19, 2018

Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin

My review:

Allie's second husband is killed tragically when his 18-wheeler crashes into the rocks near their home in Cape San Blas--the tanker was full of fuel and the explosion could be seen on overhead satellites. She'd already lost the beloved waterfront restaurant her parents started and now losing her husband, no matter how unfulfilling their marriage was, might just push her over the edge.

Joseph's time in Vietnam left him with scars that never seemed to heal. No matter how he's tried to love or what he's tried to do since then, he can't pull himself out of the wreckage of his former life. His trust and security shaken, he isolates himself in a cabin. But every morning, he faithfully pours two cups of coffee, drinking his while he sits with the second, and then pouring out the full cup.

It's no small coincidence that Joseph found a mother and her two young children lost in the woods near his cabin. Or that when he helps them return to family in Florida, he's near enough to see that explosion. Near enough to know it's close to home. Near enough to know that his childhood sweetheart needs him.

The years have built so much distance between them, but it's the secrets that may be their final undoing. Send Down the Rain reminds us of the beauty of truth . . . and the power of love to wash away the past.

My review:

 Charles Martin is a master storyteller. Every time I think he has written his best novel, he writes another that is even better. And this

 Martin always comes up with some great characters, and this book was no different. At the heart of the story is Joseph, returned soldier now 62 years old. He lost the love of his wife to his older brother, who destroyed the marriage. He lives alone, but can't help protecting and helping people.

 This book, though fictional, is a powerful story of love and forgiveness. The climax of the story happens in a courtroom. Martin has a way of throwing a curve ball the reader never saw coming, and there was a major curve ball. I am not ashamed to admit I cry in books and movies, and man did that part of the book do me in. Maybe it was foolish on my part, but I just read that part of  the book again til the end and had tears streaming down my face.

 Martin's books are rarely overtly Christian, but this amazing story shows the love and forgiveness God offers all of us.

 It also shows it is never too late for any of us. Most books of this type are centered on people in their 20's and 30's, not 60's.

 This is a story of 2 brothers, and of one that was wronged by the other in ways that are unfathomable...yet forgiveness and a total lack of hate was there. It also shows that love truly can conquer all, and there is no greater sacrifice than to sacrifice one's life, or reputation for another. This is truly an awesome read.

 This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review.

About the author (in his own words):

I grew up in Jacksonville, Florida on the St. John’s River.  Somewhat of a Huck Finn childhood.  Most afternoons were spent mullet fishing—of which I’ve caught my fair share, canoeing, pegging cars with overripe tangerines—it really got fun when the red tail lights lit and the reverse gears ground metal on metal, or the backyard Superbowl which we replayed most everyday.  Through high school, football was my life.  School was the avenue that allowed me to play.  I walked on at Georgia Tech in 1999 and played one year under Bobby Ross.  “Played” might be a bit too liberal use of the term.  I dressed out for the games and served as a tackling dummy until I got hurt, cracking a vertebrae in my back and they carried me off.  Transferred to Florida State and tried to become a student.  As an escape, I starting racing bicycles up and down the east coast.  Not very good, but it allowed me an outlet.  Eventually landed in the English department after escaping Accounting with a ‘D.’  I was de-lighted.  After graduation, I moved to Atlanta and started waiting tables at Houston’s Restaurant so I could save up money to buy a ring.  Christy and I married in 1993, we drove to Virginia Beach, where she put me through Grad school.  When I wasn’t in class, I worked the morning preload for Ma’ Brown.  (UPS).  Went to work at 2 or 3 am, and clocked out about 9 am.  Didn’t get much sleep for almost 3 years.  In 1997, we got pregnant with Charlie and returned to Jacksonville—so our kids could grow up around our families.  When not a single educational institution in Jacksonville would hire me (including my alma mater, Bolles High School), my brother-in-law had mercy on me and gave me a job selling insurance.  2 years passed and to make a real long story short, a fortune 500 company offered me a VP’s position with a 6-figure salary, 6-figure signing bonus, etc.  I turned them down, resigned from the insurance agency, began pressure washing, building docks, etc., and began trying to sell my novel—what is now The Dead Don’t Dance.  That was 8 years ago.  ‘Where the River Ends” is my 6th novel.

Check out his website: