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Rain Paperback – April 6, 2011
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Featured Author: Anna Snoekstra
In this chilling psychological thriller, one woman's dark past becomes another's deadly future. Learn more
Winner Literary Fiction category at the 2011 National Indie Excellence Awards, and silver medalist at the 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY) in the Regional Fiction: Australia/New Zealand category.
From the Author
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Top Customer Reviews
A saga of generational tragedy, Cunningham chronicles the bleak fate of the Baden family in Rain. It is a stark and discouraging tale at the cycle of family dysfunction as Michael Baden revisits his own childhood damage on his vulnerable wife and children. I found Rain difficult to read at times because the Baden family members suffer so relentlessly from setbacks both of their own making and simply by the vagaries of fate. This is an emotionally charged story that explores many confronting topics including the curse of alcohol and drug addiction, emotional neglect, rape and physical abuse.
The characters evoke both sympathy and dismay as they struggle with the burdens of their heritage. Rain illustrates the inexorable slide of Michael and Helen into a mire of despair causing the disintegration of their good intentions. Despite glimmers of hope and triumph neither can hold onto their successes. Michael undoubtedly triggers and supports the family's failures, his drinking, neglect and general poor behaviour, a legacy that his children are unable to escape.Read more ›
The tale mostly, but not exclusively, revolves around a second-generation mother, Helena, and her third-generation daughter, Carla. Even as they deny they need to, they give their lives to the men and boys who are their fathers, sons, brothers, and lovers--and receive in return enormous grief.
And yet this is no mindless indictment of the male characters. For instance, at the beginning Helena and her sister Grace, heiresses to their father's sawmill business, both favor the physically desirable Michael Baden. He readily returns the interest of the more attractive sister, Grace, to the point of consummating a youthful affair with her.
Grace, however, has her eye on a more glamorous life than Michael can be a part of. A worker in the mill, he's a bastard grandson of the impoverished and physically abused woman who claims to be his mother. He's also a victim of severe playground abuse for nothing more than being who he is.
When Grace leaves for a more worldly existence in Sydney, Michael turns his attention to the "sensible and comfortable" Helena. This reader finds it difficult to blame either of them for what follows.
Abuse--psychological, physical, and sexual--dominates Cunningham's story. And yet all of her characters--no matter how possible it is to say they invite their own grief--are sympathetic. This reader wanted each of them to succeed, even as he grew in his knowledge that most of them wouldn't.
The playground bullies and the gang-rapists of a fourteen-year-old girl in a nighttime cemetery are faceless, as they should be in this kind of story.Read more ›
Why is life so cruel? How much heartbreak can a family endure? I read this story with my heart placed firmly in my mouth, I have to say it also bled quite profusely as well. This is a very human story and I suspect based on very real people. Thank you Leigh K Cunningham for sharing this wonderful story with us. It will stay with me, as I'm sure it will stay with all that read it.
This family saga began to draw me in from the first page, and by the end of the first chapter, I was hooked. Leigh has a way with words that I loved. Her talent had me re-reading many of her sentences because they were so well done - I wished I'd written them myself. Such as - He had crossed the line: the one that separated justifiable wrong and unforgivable sin. And - So many people wise about death, even though they had no personal experience with it, for if they knew death, as Helen now did, they would also know that a blade wounded, a stab into the heart was fatal, and time had just two hands, and was not a father.
Each character the author zeroed in on came to life and I found myself caring about what would happen to them. This wasn't a feel-good book as much as it was realistic and thought provoking. The story has stayed in my mind for a few days and so I decided I had to write a review and encourage others to read it so they could enjoy the story as much as I did.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
To be fair I didn't read more than the first chapter. I found the writing unusually clumsy, full of awkward phrases that slowed the pace and prevented my engagement with the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Louise
Maybe there was a little hope at the end . . . you can decide for yourself but the story is one unfortunate event after another. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
I wanted to give it five stars but couldn't. I did love the story but felt there was too much going on for this one book. It could have been separated into sequels. Read morePublished 24 months ago by gibbsjacker
A really slow read in the first half of the book. Just not written as compellingly as I would like. By the end, I thought it was an ok read.Published on October 2, 2014 by Mary Anne W
I only finished it because I was hoping for one single small glimmer of hope for the family. It never happened.Published on June 8, 2014 by ember
Disclaimer: I did not read more than 30 pages of the book because I got stuck on the poor editing. For example, Gandhi is referred to as "Ghandi. Read morePublished on March 15, 2014 by J.N.
I just had a hard time getting into this book. I ended up giving up after a few chapters and took it off my Kindle.Published on January 1, 2014 by Nina Croll
I struggled but I finished. Still not sure I liked it. It had too much "dark"sides for me to enjoy. I read to be entertained and this did not entertain me.Published on December 3, 2013 by Nancy
The first 1/2 was good, but the author spent way too much time developing the character that
"takes over" the novel. Read more