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I Will Send Rain: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, August 9, 2016
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"A powerful rendering of human resilience."
―Minneapolis Star Tribune
"A book about Oklahoma in the 1930s demands a spare . . .style to match the landscape. "I Will Send Rain" obliges . . . .evocative. . . timeless . . . These characters learn to practice kindness, even without knowing one another fully."
―New York Times Book Review
"Rae Meadows' I Will Send Rain is as lush and powerful as the novel's Dust Bowl setting is dry and cracked--Meadows paints the Bell family's desperation with compassion and warmth, and her precise language turns grit into gold."
"I Will Send Rain is meticulously researched, deeply felt, and beautifully written, and I loved immersing myself in its harsh and elegant world."
"In I Will Send Rain you'll find compassion, heartbreak, and not a word out of place. Meadows shares with John Steinbeck not just a gigantic empathy but a gigantic storytelling gift. This is a novel where love and laughter abide."
"Lyrical, devastating… With echoes of Faulkner and Steinbeck, each character chases after a meager form of comfort and stability in this harsh, unforgiving landscape, where ‘every direction was the same. Flat, colorless, known.’ Annie's efforts to save herself and her family end in sadness, but her refusal to submit to hopelessness shines through the dust and the tears.”
―Oprah.com "Books to Read if You Love Fierce, Smart Women"
"With deft and lyrical prose, Rae Meadows weaves a tale of love, hope and survival . . . wrapped up in lovely, evocative and powerful prose, making I Will Send Rain a book that will captivate you, and remain with you long after you have closed the cover."
"Meadows’s strength lies in letting her story be guided by the shadow and light of her well-rendered characters. When tragedy strikes or hope emerges, it makes sense and comes to fruition organically...A vibrant, absorbing novel that stays with the reader."
―Publishers Weekly, starred review
"An exceptional talent for creating vivid imagery and a tender regard for her characters mark Meadows’ new novel. . .Similar to John Steinbeck’s haunting portrait of tenant farmers in The Grapes of Wrath, but also with the gritty, bittersweet elements in Rilla Askew’s Harpsong (2007) and the poignant lyricism of Karen Hesse’s Out of the Dust (1997)."
-Booklist, starred review
“[I Will Send Rain] make[s] the past feel modern and create[s] an easy kinship between the reader and Meadows’s pitch-perfect characters. Alternately delicate and elegiac, glowing and ferocious, this slow dance through the devastation of history leaves readers with a glimpse of the cost to those who stayed to brave the hard times.”
“I Will Send Rain is delightfully vivid, both in the setting and the windows into the characters. The reader can taste the dust, and the longing in the characters' mouths. I didn't feel that I was reading as much as watching, and that kind of dive into prose always speaks highly for a novel. I Will Send Rain is an impressive showing from Meadows, well worth checking out.”
About the Author
Rae Meadows is the author of Calling Out, which received the 2006 Utah Book Award for fiction, No One Tells Everything, a Poets & Writers Notable Novel, and the widely praised novel, Mercy Train. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Brooklyn, New York.
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Set in Oklahoma during the 1930's, a severe drought brought on historically intense and life threatening dust storms. Set in a small town, the book focuses on a little farming family faced with the decision to flee or wait out for rain. Through hunger & thirst of their own as well as their farm animals their faith is challenged.
This book is difficult to put down. I hope you enjoy it!
Oklahoma. 1934. The people are steadfast and reverent. Life is harsh and unfair. This will be a year that tests the Bell family: Annie, and her quiet restlessness; Samuel and his unwavering faith in God; their teenage daughter Birdie, in the throes of young love; and their young son Fred, suffering from an ominous cough.
It’s the middle of the Dust Bowl, and while this sets an apt scene for the book, the real focus is on the people and the personal challenges they face—challenges that are timeless and universal in nature. Rae Meadows tells their story in taut, elegant prose—opting for a befitting realism over sentimentality, because anything else would be a disservice to these characters. There isn’t one unnecessary word in this book, and every plot point feels earned.
Just when it seems that no one will get what they want—that devastation and defeat are as inevitable as the next rainless day—solace arrives for each character. It may not be what they had hoped for, but it’s enough.
Vivid, gritty and bittersweet, I Will Send Rain is an understated story about life’s bleakness and beauty amid the desolate landscape of 1930s Oklahoma.