Emotional Novel On Every Level!
The Sweetest Rain by Myra Johnson is a clean novel of love and families with and without family values.
The country had survived the First World War, the stock market crash of 1929, and now Arkansas’s tenant farmers were faced with the worst drought in its history. Two families are featured and inter-meshed in this book; one is rich and entitled, the other poor, desperate, and giving.
The author created a story of love, lies, expectations, and secrets as the Senior Heath rules from his mansion. We watch as unrestricted power, prejudice, and inequity in the hands of the Heath patriarch ruins not only his family but others.
His son Michael will be the saving grace of the family with his gentle caring soul and artistic nature; he battles PTSD, depression, the physical effect of mustard gas, and a father that wants him to be something he is not.
Grandpa George Rigby and his 3 granddaughters, each named for a flower, live as tenants on Heath land during a time of crop devastation. There is almost no food, no money, and crops are failing. The eldest, Bryony, will sacrifice her future for her family.
In order to send her sister, to Teachers College, feed Grandpa and her other sister, she will work for the rich Heaths as a house maid; after toiling all day she will return to the farm to care for her family and chores.
At the Heaths she will face a dysfunctional family; an angry domineering unfeeling senior Heath, Mrs. Heath in the beginning stages of a progressing Alzheimer disease, servants that resent her, family secrets, and Michael Heath with his wounded spirit and body who creates beautiful botanical drawings that touch Bryony’s heart.
Bryony’s belief in God and her life values enable her to love and help Michael to reach his potential and begin to live again.
Character, Plotting and Development:
This is a wonderful story of two families that live life in two different life styles and with two different sets of values; one values the material, the other values family and love. Author Myra Johnson did a great job of bringing the two family stories to resolution.
The character development was wonderful as we watch each character grow, but this road was long and rocky as they battle and struggle though life to reach happy ever after.
It is a clean story of love and family values as Bryony and Michael fall in love and resolve family issues as secrets are revealed.
Though I would classify this as Christian romance fiction, it is not preachy nor does it have extensive religious commentary. It is a clean solid novel. I highly recommend this book and look forward to book 2.