The Boy Who Loved Rain By Gerard Kelly

I am not sure even where to begin! First of all this is a dynamic, enthralling novel. I found myself putting it down only to turn around and start reading again. It is skillfully and beautifully written. I am amazed at how the author took so many serious issues, diverse characters and seamlessly wove them all into an entertaining, outstanding story.
Colom Dryden is a thirteen years old teenager. His father is a pastor; his mom is a full time home maker. His dad is a dynamic pastor of a large church and is also has sought after as a family counselor. They are the perfect family, right? Like so many families what appears on the outside is not what happens at home. Colom continues a repeating nightmare that terrifies him. So much so that his behavior has become erratic; he is about to be kicked out of his private school, and his parents are shocked to find he has a suicide plan.
Fiona, his mother is beside herself and wants to get Colom counseling. It is tearing her apart not knowing how to help her son and fearful she will lose him. She is basically handling all this on her own. David, his father, is totally absorbed in his work. He loves is son but is caught in the middle of a demanding ministry, his church’s expectations him as a pastor and his family, frustration in dealing with the problem and home, and pride. He refuses for Fiona to seek outside counseling. She is trying to hold the family together but her husband’s impatience and outbursts are driving Colom deeper into his problems and further away from his family.
In desperation she seeks out a friend from her past to help and goes to another country, determined find her son the help he needs before it is too late. Then the story really begins to unfold. Secrets begin to be revealed, opening up painful wounds.
The author deals with many difficult, frightening problems families face. Problems readers may be grappling with as they read. It also brings to light that our past must be dealt with and keeping secrets does not always protect the ones we love. You will not fail to be surprised at what is revealed!
I received this book free from Kregal Publications. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Mercy’s Rain By Cindy K. Sproles

This book was more than a novel! The setting may be in the 1890’s but the social issues that are involved in the story are still very relevant today: abuse, substance abuse, broken relationships, terminal illness and more. It doesn’t just stop with the suffering and pain involved. The reader is drawn into feeling and experiencing the affects these things have on the lives of those facing such problems; their struggles and turmoil physically, mentally, emotionally, and physically. The author goes the full circle and also shows God working in such a wounded life. The reader also sees His love, guidance, healing, and comfort.
Mercy in her 20 years of living has faced more heartache and hardships that most people do in a lifetime. Her father is sick, cruel, and abusive to her, her mother, and others. Sadly, he is also the pastor of a church in a small Appalachian community. Everyone turns a head to his evil out of fear and his position, including Mercy’s mother. Everything comes to a head when her father dies and her mother confused and grieving kicks the young woman out her home.
Mercy leaves determined to make it alone, no matter what it takes. Even as she travels, God is already preparing to bring her to people that will show her His true love and mercy. On her way, she meets a young preacher, a true man of God. He helps her and takes her to another mountain community where she meets a Christian couple that takes her in. Along with the preacher, they show her patience and conditional love. Her heart is very hardened and she is overwhelmed by bitterness and distrust toward everyone. They tenderly guide her never chiding her for her outbursts or false ideas. They look past her rough and angry exterior and see a much wounded heart. Here she experiences problems of a different kind, not only personally but in the lives of her new family she is growing to love. I found it beautiful how they faced every tragic event with a strong faith in God.
The author does a beautiful job of handling very delicate subjects tastefully and showing that God has power to heal hearts, no matter how devastating the damage is that has been inflicted. She leaves no doubt the influence Christians have on others by allowing Christ to live through them and touch the lives of those in need.
It is one of the most unusual books I have ever read. The reviews may make it sound depressing, but it is incredibly uplifting and hopeful. I anxiously await the opportunity to read more books by Sproles.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review. The opinions I expressed are my own. I am not required to write a positive review .