About the Book (from Bethany House)
In the Dark of the Mine, In the Face of Rising Water,
In the Shadows of the Hills, Faith Will See Them Through
Judd Markley knows he can never set foot underground again. The mine collapse that nearly killed him and claimed his brother's life means leaving West Virginia forever. Although that hard Appalachian world is all he knows, he puts it behind him and heads for the open sky of the thriving town of 1954 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Larkin Heyward's life in the beach town is uncomplicated, mostly volunteer work and dancing at the Pavilion. But she dreams of one day doing more and being more—maybe moving to the hills and hollers of Kentucky to help the poor children of Appalachia. But she's never even met someone who's lived there—until she encounters Judd, the newest employee at her father's timber company.
Drawn together in the wake of a hurricane that changes Myrtle Beach forever, Judd's and Larkin's dreams pull them in divergent directions. It will take a significant sacrifice to keep them together—or maybe, it will take a miracle.
With an echo of some elements from Christy by Catherine Marshall, but a cast of characters with a story all their own, The Sound of Rain enchanted me. Not all at once. I liked the writing style from the beginning, but it's a gentle read, like comforting rain tapping on the roof—even through the suspenseful scenes (including facing a hurricane or the terror of a dark mine). I think part of it is because the story is more concerned about the bigger themes and doesn't let temporary things sidetrack the message.
I loved the two main characters (even though Larkin takes a bit of getting used to, with her recklessness and stubbornness). It's their interactions with the people in their life, including each other, that make the story sparkle, even when those conversations or kindnesses might seem ordinary or mundane.
This is a story about learning to love wherever you go. It's about seeking after what's important and not getting so distracted that your real life slips by. It's a sweet romance that tackles the tough questions about whose dream to follow and what togetherness can accomplish.
Meet Judd and Larkin, their families and friends, and stop for a moment to listen to the rain stirring life in ready soil.
*With thanks to Bethany House for providing me with a free copy of this book.*