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Rain Song [Kindle Edition]

Alice J. Wisler
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (511 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nicole Michelin avoids airplanes, motorcycles, and most of all, Japan, where her parents once were missionaries. Something happened in Japan...something that sent Nicole and her father back to America alone...something of which Nicole knows only bits and pieces. But she is content with life in little Mount Olive, North Carolina, with her quirky relatives, tank of lively fish, and plenty of homemade pineapple chutney. Through her online column for the Pretty Fishy Web site, she meets Harrison Michaels, who, much to her dismay, lives in Japan. She attempts to avoid him, but his e-mails tug at her heart. Then Harrison reveals that he knew her as a child in Japan. In fact, he knows more about her childhood than she does...

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Wisler's likable debut, a young woman is offered a chance to find romance and make peace with her past. After her missionary mother dies under mysterious circumstances in Japan, young Nicole Michelin returns to North Carolina to live with her depressed father and loving grandmother. Now 31, and a middle school English teacher, Nicole bears the scars of a time she can't remember. She sleeps with her cloth kimono doll and nurses phobias ranging from anxiety about flying to a fear of commitment. But when she meets an intriguing man through a Web site column, her yearning for love encourages her to risk getting to know him even though he lives in Japan. Wisler's cast of Southern women is lightly sketched but no less charming for this, and her development of the relationship between Nicole and her three-year-old autistic cousin strikes poignant notes throughout. Faith fiction fans will appreciate the strong faith of Nicole's influential grandmother, Ducee Dubois, who helps Nicole face her fears. (Oct.) ""
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved."


"Wisler's debut novel.... leaves one feeling good about God's limitless ability to provide strength, courage and answers to prayer." -- Susan Miura,

"Alice Wisler tells this story of Rain Song in the slow, deliberate style of Southern tradition." -- Kim Ford,

" astonishing debut ... Wisler writes with a tremendous amount of talent." -- Annabelle Robertson,

Product Details

  • File Size: 1925 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #666,212 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
80 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Already Waiting For the Sequel! September 14, 2008
Rain Song was an absolute pleasure to read and absorb. Alice Wisler does a marvelous job taking the reader to Nicole's world in N. Carolina. I couldn't wait for each new chapter to see what would happen next. It was a refreshing change from so many Christian novels that are, let's be honest, full of nothingness.

Each character came alive for me while I read. It reminded me a lot of my own family. I believe that everyone has an Aunt Iva in their family, a Monet, and if we're lucky enough, a Harrison.

As a middle school English teacher in N. Carolina, I appreciated every facet of the book. I am actually going to see about having it read by my eighth graders in the spring. With the discussion questions at the end of the book, it's perfect! The questions are initially posed with regard to the book, afterwhich, they tie into the reader's personal life. An opportunity for personal growth are at hand if one is wise enough to respond with an open and honest heart.

I only have one thing that I didn't really like about the book ... when it ended. I am ready for the sequel, Ms. Wisler! Thank you for sharing this part of you with the world. We await the next, impatiently!
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111 of 121 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rain Song August 7, 2010
Nicole Michelin lives in fear. She avoids airplanes, motorcycles, her past and Japan - the land where her mother died. She lives in fear of her grandmother's death and only finds solace in her fish and her writing. Her online column at the Pretty Fishy Website attracts the attention of one Harrison Michaels. As Nicole and Harrison correspond, he reveals that he knew her as a child and that their parents were friends. Nicole is intrigued, but very hesitant when Harrison suggests that she visit him in Japan. After all, that would require riding in an airplane. Ultimately, this story is about confronting fear and experiencing liberty.

I quite liked the main character narrating the story. The author gave her a unique and pleasing sense of humor. Unfortunately, I was quite dissatisfied with the book. I try to not be overly critical in my book reviews, but there were some issues that bothered me. The synopsis of this book made it sound like a romance. There was little to none. There was potential in the concept, but the author chose not to execute it. Also, I noticed at that author slipped from present tense to past tense writing at points where it should not have been done. I can understand the change if the the narrator were to begin recounting an event from her past. However, this particular slip was not made at such a point. Not only was it poor grammar, but it made for uncomfortable reading. But my biggest complaint about the book is that it stopped right in the middle of her visit to Japan. There was no epilogue, no sequel. Just a bunch of openness and things that were unresolved. (Her relationship with Harrison, her relationship with her father, etc.)
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming, authentic family relationships October 7, 2008
Absolutely delightful! This book brims with interesting characters set in a small Southern town, some of whom you may recognize from your own family experience. I enjoyed following Nicole through her major decision to return to Japan, something she had firmly avoided. Her family trials were believable and heartwarming. Her visit to Japan answers questions and allows her to experience a bit of her past which had been lost to her.

An excellent first novel from this author and I eagerly await the next one!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Writing enjoyable, morals lacking September 4, 2011
By Ariel J
I just finished Rain Song, and first I want to say my, how refreshing it was to read. At first I was dubious about the present tense, but quickly got used to it - I think I even like it better than past tense! It makes it seem like everything is actually happening, right then, as you're reading.
Her writing as a whole was enjoyable; it felt fast-paced even when "nothing" was happening and kept me constantly turning pages. I noticed a lot of reviewers complaining about it being slow... perhaps their style is an adventure or action novel. Plenty of things happened - no, she didn't get abducted or crash her car or stumble upon the world's biggest diamond - but things did happen. Small things, that mattered to the heroine, and thus matter to us.
I loved the insights the author would throw in. Nicole thinks about her fish, how content they are without any worries or cares. Things like that - it was just a treat.

I confess I did find Nicole (the heroine) rather self-focused... she worries a lot about her own problems and doesn't seem to care about any one else's. She does get better as the book goes on, but there is never anything that suggests that she is wrong to be like that. She also deceives her co-worker several times, which got on my nerves. (If she doesn't want to tell Kristine her personal life, she can just say "I'd rather not talk about". She doesn't have to lie.) Aside from those things, though, Nicole was a very likeable protagonist. She's timid and tries hard to build herself a life, but she's missing something. I could totally feel her day-to-day life and felt connected to her.
I did eventually find myself caring about her past, though I never got to feeling it was as important as she felt it was.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by BMW LADY
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read
I had a little trouble getting into the story, but once I did I was hooked. Very few proofing errors.
Published 2 months ago by Pattie Peer
4.0 out of 5 stars Hang in there
The book started slowly and I almost set it aside. It is a fascinating story of one woman's struggle with the pain in her past and the encouragement she receives from her... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Grandma B
5.0 out of 5 stars Stick With It
I started to read this twice. The slow opening didn't match my mood the first time. Oh, but the second attempt! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Linda Samaritoni
3.0 out of 5 stars good book
Although this was a good book, it was a little bit boring
There also did not seem to be closure with her father
Published 2 months ago by Nancy Rizzo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by vesna milosevic
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book!!
This book captures a adult longing to learn about her Mother! Lots of fun characters to keep this story interesting!
Published 2 months ago by Cyndi Evans
3.0 out of 5 stars a clear look at the inner turmoil of a young woman with limited life...
I enjoyed other slow pace and quaint details in this Southern tale of being willing to go beyond restraints from a traumatic childhood. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kathleen
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Impressed
I was not too impressed with this story. Too drawn out and I was getting a bit bored with it. Once I did get into the storyline the end was a surprise. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sandy
4.0 out of 5 stars You will fall in love with this family of characters!
The Title is misleading; however, it was beautifully written and the author has a delightful insight into "family" and interaction of family members. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Arlene S Durham
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More About the Author

Born and raised in Japan, I love sushi! I also enjoyed walks to the stationer's store to purchase notebooks, scented erasers and pencils when I was in elementary school. With each purchase, I was sure I was going to write a bestseller!

Now I write, blog, and enjoy crafting fun characters in Durham, NC. My first five novels are set in some part of my state. Rain Song (Christy Finalist 2009) takes place in the little town of Mount Olive, home to Mount Olive Pickles and strong family ties. How Sweet It Is, also a Christy Finalist in 2010, takes places in the Smoky Mountains. Hatteras Girl made her debut October 2010. Of course, it is set in the lovely Outer Banks. A Wedding Invitation, has flashbacks of settings in a refugee camp in the Philippines and also has scenes in Winston-Salem, NC. It arrived in October 2011. For me, this novel represents the need we all have to belong and be accepted, just like my Amerasian character feels. Still Life in Shadows, my fifth novel, takes place in a small mountain town I created called Twin Branches. This is also a story of belonging as Gideon Miller helps dissatisfied Amish youth relocate and find their places in modern society. Under the Silk Hibiscus is my first historical novel, set in a Japanese-American internment camp, during WWII.

In addition to speaking at conferences and retreats across the country, I teach online grief-writing classes---Writing the Heartache---and design and sell remembrance cards. Since my four-year-old son Daniel's death in 1997, I've written articles on coping with grief. Many of these can be read at the Open to Hope website at Be sure to visit my website at and my blogs: and

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