Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Gentle Rain by Deborah Smith

A Connecticut heiress.
A Florida cowboy.
His heart. Her secret.
And the very special family
she has come home to find.

When this book was recommended to me by both Linda and Jennifer, I was like, "It's first person." I rarely do first person. But the raves kept coming so I said, "What the hell. Why not?" and got the book from my library. Boy, oh boy, am I glad I did!

A Gentle Rain isn't your normal book. You won't find Navy SEALs, serial killers, or drug dealers. You won't find wannabe gangsta vampires (stab me in the eye with a flaming hot poker!). You won't find billionaires whose secretaries are secretly having their babies. You won't even find hot, steamy sex. No, with A Gentle Rain you find so much more. Between the covers of this book you will find emotion, acceptance, and forgiveness. You will find uneducated and "simple" human beings who are so much more than they look to be. You will find a woman searching for her "identity" and finding exactly what she needed.

Deborah Smith's A Gentle Rain will teach you "a lesson in humility" (that's a quote from Jennifer B). It's an amazing story that touched my heart from the get go. On page 5, I fell in love with Ben. Here's the reason why.

I walked toward the second door. "Don't you go in there, boy," the nurse called. "You don't want to see that poor little ugly baby."

"He's my brother, lady, and you shut the hell up."

I'd never spoken to a woman like that before. I'd been raised right. But I'd never been the big brother of a feeble-hearted idiot before, either. Shame and pride fought it out inside me. I started defending my baby bubba from the first, even when I wished he'd never been born. I went into his room.

He was wrapped in tight sheets inside a small metal crib with a see-through dome. An oxygen tank fed air into it, hissing like a snake. I clutched the crib's side, swallowed my bile, and slowly, squinting in fear, peered down at him. He looked back, or tried to, as best as any baby can focus.

His head was too big, and his face was flat. His eyes slanted like the eyes of a Chinese boy I'd seen at a rodeo in Tallahassee. He was scrawny. His skin had a weird blue tint.

But he wasn't ugly. He had mine and Pa's black Seminole hair. He had Ma's cute, brunette-white-girl nose. He had my serious look on his face. And he smiled. He smiled at me.

I put my forehead against the clear dome that separated him from me, and I cried. It was the first and last time I'd let him see me shed tears over him. That's when I realized it: He's a Cracker horse. I have to see him as special, and that means worth saving.

Pa came in eventually, looked the baby over without a word, then finally spread one big, callused hand on the crib's dome. He put the other hand on my shoulder. I felt a tremor in it. "What d'ya think, Ben?"

"He's a Cracker," I whispered hoarsely. "If we don't give him a chance to prove hisself, who's gonna?"

Pa squeezed my shoulder. "Then we're agreed. Your Mama'll be proud of you. Proud of us both. She loves him."

"Then so do we, " I said.

Ben was nine years old at the time and he was amazing. He's this young and this accepting. This young and could see his brother for something more than the "retard" the doctors and nurses were calling him. And he loved and accepted him just as he was. Imagine, nine years old and capable of this, imagine how much more amazing he is as an adult. While Ben is uneducated, he's extremely intelligent. The beginning of the book had me teetering on the edge of reading on and putting it aside, I couldn't decide. But it was Ben and his compassion and Kara and her plight that had me continuing on.

Read the book. You won't be sorry.


  1. Ah Anne, I almost posted that section too. Wasn't it beautiful. Did you cry too?

    I'd be hard pressed to find a book I liked better for 2007.

  2. I cried, most definitely. I cried A LOT. I love a book that tugs at my emotions as much as this one did. I agree, this will be in my top reads of 2008.

  3. Oh yeah, that "feeble-hearted idiot" line stayed with me too...truly a book that speaks to your heart, instead of just making it race.


Have you read it? What do you think?

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