I have been so lucky with reading good books lately and Raising Rain by Debbie Fuller Thomas was no different. I really enjoyed it. It’s a story about secrets, regrets, love, friendships and most of all forgiveness and finding peace within yourself.
The story is about four college roommates Jude, Bebe, Toni and Mare and mostly told in the present time thirty-some years later. In addition there is Rain who is Jude’s daughter but really ended up being mothered by all these women especially Bebe as Jude was deep into almost any kind of cause she could find in college. There are flashbacks to the 70’s when the girls were roommates so along the way you’re enticed by the secrets and regrets that have happened in the past but you only get to learn of them gradually.
The women are all forced to confront their pasts when Jude, who is terminally ill, decides that she wants to have a Celebration of Life before she dies. Jude is quite the character really. She’s not very nice and hasn’t been much of a mother to Rain at all yet at the same time does love her in her own way. The whole point of this celebration for Jude is for the women to find some way to mark her passing while at the same time stirring the pot of emotions that everyone is feeling for one reason or another.
Rain was raised by Jude to be ‘a new woman’. To be a woman who didn’t need a man to survive and a woman who should strive to have a career and make something of herself. Yet Rain fell in love with Hayden but they separate when Rain wants a baby and he doesn’t. Rain begins to look into options for having a baby as a single woman. But is this really what she wants at forty years old? Does she really want Hayden out of her life? Does she want to end up like her mother – bitter and angry at the end of her life? These are all things that Rain is up against throughout the novel. I liked Rain. She’s a character who seemed very real to me in her emotions and thoughts.
Bebe was another of my favorite characters. She was really more of a mother to Rain than Jude ever was from the time that Rain was a baby and this was something that Jude had been envious of to the point of limiting Rain’s visits to Bebe’s and her husbands when she was growing up. Bebe is dealing with her own emotional upheaval. Her son Scott is heading to boot camp and Dylan is heading off to college. She hasn’t spoken to her brother in years because of an incident when she was in college and that is beginning to wear on her as well.
When they all meet for Jude’s Celebration of Life some past secrets are revealed and the women deal with the deep seated emotions they have over things they did in the past especially Bebe where Rain is concerned. What you see is how the past affects the future in so many ways; ways you couldn’t even imagine. Bebe learns that God is there for her showing her the way to forgive herself and move on and Rain realizes before it’s too late that sometimes letting go is the best way to go.
Raising Rain is a novel that carries story lines that could happen to any of us. That’s its appeal; you could easily see yourself in these situations and you wonder what you might do if it were you. This book would make such a great book club selection as there are so many issues addressed within it’s pages that would keep your members talking for hours. I enjoyed Raising Rain enough that I downloaded Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon; the author’s first novel and I’m really looking forward to it.
My Thanks…to the author Debbie Fuller Thomas and NetGalley for my eBook copy of Raising Rain.