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Showing 1-10 of 472 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 538 reviews
on September 16, 2013
I started reading Rain Song by Alice J. Wisler at the end of July (I know I'm running late with the review :/). For some reason that I can't quite put my finger on it took me a while to read this one. Maybe because I was on vacation or that I only downloaded it on my Cloud Reader and not the Kindle app on my phone (I read most books on my phone now). But whatever the reason, it rarely takes me so long to read a book so that must say something about this one.

I one clicked it from Amazon when it was free because I can't resist a freebie. I hadn't heard of neither the author or book before. I was scrolling through my Cloud Reader and picked this one in particular because I liked the cover very much. At first I was confused....Nicole is in Mount Olive with Ducee and Iva, but she's constantly thinking about something that happened in Japan. At one point I couldn't follow. I was like: Where did Japan come from now? Little by little it became clearer. Once I got to the middle it was easier to follow what was going on. However, the ending still left many questions unanswered for me. I think there should be a sequel or some sort of explanation. I might sound like Sheldon Cooper now, but I do need closure.

Rain Song is not a story about rain. The rain is a metaphor. It's a story about how a young woman slowly learns how to overcome her fears and ends up doing/facing all the things she was afraid of.

Rating - I admit it got me thinking and guessing. In the end I guessed right. And you know I don't like it when I can guess the plot of a book. Plus it took me soooo long to finish it. 2 stars for this one.

Who would I recommend it too - Well, I won't give recommendations this time since I gave it only 2 stars.
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on August 14, 2013
I loved reading about places that I am actually familiar with in NC. It is a charming book about southern roots and traditions along with the crazy family that is always nearby. I loved reading about Nicole's struggles with her unknown past and how she took that leap of faith to find out more. I also love the strong relationship between Nicole and her grandmother, Ducee, which I think is so important for a young women and something I relate too.

I absolutely loved the book until the end. There is this build up of Nicole flying to Japan to meet Harrison, but the book skips from her flight to Atlanta to going to the nursing home in Japan. The writer does give a little backstory to what they have done before arriving at the nursing home, but its not the same. Nicole is having tea with Harrison and her old housekeeper, she starts thinking about the journey she made to get there when the book ends. MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT. I knew there was a 2nd book in the series so I wasn't too worried until I realized the 2nd book isn't about the same characters. I wish there was a epilogue or something to give it a clean finish.
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on August 9, 2013
Rain Song by Alice J. Wisler is a warm family story. Set in Mount Olive, North Carolina--think pickles--it's about the close McCormick family. It's complete with a lovely matriarch who sticks religiously to her traditions, her sister, a few complicated people and infidelities, and some typically Southern food and charm. Nicole lost her mother in a house fire when she was two, and she was reared by her grandmother and loved by her aunts and the whole family. Her father couldn't handle his wife's death and descended into drink and despondency. Nicole meets someone online while discussing fish, and the friendship grows. Soon, she is asking questions she never thought she'd ask and finding out some of the facts of her early childhood.

It wasn't the plot that was intriguing about this book. It's fairly straightforward with a few surprises. But the style . . . . All I can say is that I love Mrs. Wisler's style! It's folksy and fresh, first person. The motifs of pineapple chutney, cucumber sandwiches, Japan, a special doll, and fish are woven throughout the book so that it all has an extra meaning and cohesiveness. The child Monet, who has obvious physical issues and great artistic talent--how often the two go hand-in-hand--gives the reader a release from the intense emotions we feel from Nicole, her aunt Iva, and cousin Grable.

Nicole finds many answers about her mother, father, the lady who saved her life, and eventually, she moves on to trust and love.

Excellent! I look forward to reading more of Mrs. Wisler's books from this series, "Heart of Carolina."
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on July 18, 2013
Alice Wisler, a Christian author and grief workshop leader, has written a book about, not only facing your fears, but fitting the pieces of your past together despite the lack of help from a mentally disturbed remaining parent. It is a fortunate moment when East meets West on a web site and Nicole gets a chance to inquire about her early childhood, one fraught with fears and faint memories of her departed mother. Harrison becomes a pen pal with more than fish in common with Nicole--they share an early childhood in Japan and both had Christian missionary parents who were close friends on the mission field.

As Nicole deals with her extended family's issues in a small North Carolina town, she begins to see possibilities in a romance with Harrison. But only if she can overcome her fear of flying to go back to her land of birth, Japan, and feel at ease about leaving the only real mother she ever had--her maternal grandmother. Just as Nicole is about to "lift off", her grandmother has a serious heart attack. Our heroine battles with cancelling her flight plans, but her wise and wonderfully spirited grandmother gives her precious advice.

Read Rain Song to find out what this advice was and fully understand where this title was spawned. There is a timing flaw in getting her pet fish managed for her absence during her trip, but overall, the book is written with sensitivity for a shy and middle-aging single female. I like the self-talk that goes on inside Nicole's mind throughout the book. It adds some light moments to what could be a pretty gruesome task of digging up a tragic past.
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on April 30, 2016
Alice,
Thank you for taking the time to write this story which I'm sure contains many parts of your heart as well. The story flows with ease as the characters, who are become real people in all their authenticity, develop in a way that also leads, encourages, and develops my own heart.

The heart-issues in the story are relatable and as they have taken my heart on a journey, I'm sure the words would take any reader on a journey.

It was a beautiful read and journey, thank you again Alice for sharing it with the world.

-Diane
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on November 4, 2013
I think this would make a great study book for high school English classes or book groups. I have to confess that the first time I read this book, a couple years ago at a sister-in-law's home, the book annoyed the snot out of me. The eccentric Southern relative kept on nattering about the rule of not serving cucumber sandwiches alongside egg-salad sandwiches. I had never heard of such a rule, thought it was a stupid rule, and disliked the relative going on and on about it as she wanted to violate the rule. I kept thinking as I read, Look, take the cucumber sandwiches to the reunion, don't take the sandwiches, eat the sandwiches before you go to the reunion, I don't care. Just stop talking about the stupid sandwiches!
The second time I read the book, I suddenly realized the theme of the book: what are the rules we live by that enhance our lives, what are the rules that destroy our lives? How do we decide what rules to live by? Those are important questions. And those are questions any book club or women's group should enjoy discussing.
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on March 10, 2015
I enjoyed this story of Nicole and her family and friends. The story is interesting and well written. I liked the easy pace. Nicole and her family are just quirky enough to make them interesting. I enjoyed the unfolding of Nicole 's past, and how she decided to take matters into her own hands and find out more. Recommend.
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on September 1, 2013
I thought this story was very good - the characters are believable and fleshed out well as well as likeable. The plot grasped me and pulled me in and I wanted to know more about Nicole and her past - I loved how the author let you discover it at the same time as Nicole.
[WARNING: SPOILERS AFTER THIS!!]
I kind of wish that the author spent more time on Nicole being in Japan and the ending felt very loose - for a romance, it didn't seem like that part of it was solved - it was left very open. I also felt that the author was heavily hinting that Great Aunt Lucy, not the character Ducee was Nicole's actual grandmother (that maybe Nicole's mother was the child that was given away but to relatives so she would remain in the family) - this might just be my own headcanon but there were a few things thrown in that kind of made it seem like this might be the case but was never confirmed or denied. Noticed there were other Heart of Carolina books, but upon reading the descriptions none continue Nicole's story.
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on September 29, 2013
I love rain in every form from terrible storms to fresh smelling sprinkles. I described this book to someone as being like an enjoyable gentle rain. Nothing dramatic, just refreshingly simple. Nicole is a woman plagued by fears about simple things-trying a new food, flying, riding a motorcycle, using a computer or thinking about a life she can't remember as a child in Japan. She lives a simple life as an English teacher surrounded by mostly older relatives, caring for her fish and holding on to a Japanese doll that she believes her mother gave to her before she died. Her feisty grandmother gently pushes her towards life even as she expresses suspicions about all things modern or out of the ordinary. The story is about overcoming her fears, learning to trust enough to ask questions and taking a bold step to finally learn about her past. At the end of the book you smile.
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on November 15, 2008
"Rain Song" chronicles the story of Nicole Michelin, a young woman filled with fear and held motionless by a hole in her heart that longs to be filled. Tragedy entered her life at the tender age of two, leaving blank spots that desperately need to be colored in.

Through what appeared to be chance, Nicole has found a friend in Harrison Michaels via email. He discovers her through her articles posted online at Pretty Fish, a website for lovers of aquatic beauty.

What Nicole soon discovers is that nothing about God's plan is random: from the moment she was taken in by her grandmother, to the quirky Southern family who helped raise her...even to the random email from Harrison...all tie together to heal Nicole of her fear and her questions about the past.

Her biggest fear involves her life of two years in Japan where her parents served as medical missionaries...where she lost her mother and all memories of her life in Japan. Harrison lives in Japan...and he remembers Nicole.

Can she release her fear long enough to ask the questions her heart yearns to have answered? Or will Nicole push Harrison away, leaving the past as a gaping heart hole that nothing but answers can fill?

Alice paints a vivid picture that slowly captivates the reader. That ache inside Nicole will awaken any ache you've had buried inside your heart. That sense of mystery that surrounds many of us--you'll find a kindred soul in Nicole.

And those fears that entangle us and hold us back? Alice's slow, Southern style, filled with Grandma Ducee's Southern Truths, will carefully unwind the burial clothes that enshroud us and set us free.

You simply have to be like Nicole and step out in faith and learn the "Rain Song" of Alice J. Wisler and her cast of beloved characters. I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of Nicole, Harrison, and the entire McCormick/Michelin clan...at least, I'm hoping so.
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