Book Review: Rainwater
Lost in the parade of books decked with vibrant covers coloured with an array of hues, lies a book, dark and dusty. Seemingly innocuous, it is ignored for a long time, for one reason or the other. Finally when you get to reading it, you realize that you would have almost missed, not just reading a book, but something that would have coloured your perspective of life and all the little things that go in it.
One such book is Rainwater by Sandra Brown, an author who rarely, if ever, fails in the genre that she writes in – fiction. Outdoing herself on many levels, this book is an account of a family, albeit a broken one, which is living a quiet life in a small town. Their routine is disrupted by visitors and circumstances that set off a chain of events, heart-breaking and avoidable. The book will make you realize how helpless life can sometimes make you and hence make you feel grateful for all you’ve got. It will add to your perception of the human mind, making you feel psychologically ahead of everyone else.
A period book, it is based in the era of the Great Depression in Gilead, Texas, a little on what the author’s grandfather had to go through at that time. People read fiction to get away from life, to make their dreams more vivid. But there is fiction and then there is a period based book that makes it so much more real. There is a protagonist Ella, who has a son, who is autistic. She runs a rent-a-room in troubled times, which is what the book chronicles.
The characters are so effortless, they seem like they’ve been developed with an art brush. The author doesn’t seem to have spent a lot of time cultivating them. The screenplay is very smooth. A lot of narrative and the reader is bound to lose interest, as it feels like the author needs to explain everything. On the other hand, the more the number of dialogues and the book starts to feel fake and more like drama. But the author has got it just right with this one. There is perfect harmony between the amount of narrative and the number of dialogues allotted to each character. She doesn’t say much about the characters. They explain themselves with their own actions, of their own accord. She doesn’t even go to great lengths to make them behave a particular way to convince you of their intentions or the psychology behind their movements. Subtle nuances have been taken care of. And you don’t realize this while you are reading the book. Yet it feels like it all came tumbling down the author’s heart without her manipulating the characters in any way. The story just moves comfortably ahead.
There is a dialogue in the book that stays with you for long, “Even knowing the ending was sad, I wouldn’t have deprived myself the beauty of the story. Would you?” and it just reinforces your belief that you should always do things as opposed to not doing them.