Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Book Review: After the Rain

What's a person to do when the kids have no school and it is too cold outside to run errands or go anywhere? Why, read, of course.  So, I have been curled up with books (and reading books to the boys) for the past few days. It feels like the Christmas break that has no end. Indeed, someone on Facebook compared it to that movie "Groundhog Day," where you wake up and yet again, there's a snow day and arctic temperatures.

After the Rain, by Karen White, is a book that I started ages ago and set aside. I had read maybe thirty or forty pages of it and didn't think I'd pick it up again, but after Eleanor and Park it seemed to be calling my name. Another love story, but this time with a happy ending. And I was in the mood for a happy ending.

Suzanne Paris tries to never stay in one place too long. Indeed, she's on the run from something and where better to hide out for a while than the quiet little town of Walton, Georgia, where there isn't even a hotel or bed and breakfast? She immediately runs into the town's mayor, Joe Warner, a dashing young man with six children, who helps her find a place to stay and leads to a bit of gainful employment for the time being. She doesn't expect to lose her heart to the town's occupants or to stay longer than a short while. Still, her past is closing in on her and she must make the decision to stay or go, to face the consequences of past mistakes or run from them again. It seems as if she has landed in this little town for a reason.

I liked the writing - it did suck me into the story, even if I didn't get pulled in entirely at the beginning. I liked the characters and I loved the small Southern town setting. It was an easy, enjoyable read. It was definitely a book for women and would make a nice book club read, since it comes with a discussion guide at the end (although I didn't think it would make as interesting conversational fodder as some other selections might). I was a bit sad to discover it is the sequel to Falling Home (I prefer to read books in order). Perhaps I will seek out this one and uncover the back-story to some of these delightful characters.

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