Monday, February 11, 2019
The Sound of Rain- Sarah Loudin Thomas
Description: In the Dark of the Mine, In the Face of Rising Water,
In the Shadows of the Hills, Faith Will See Them Through
Judd Markley knew he could never set foot underground again. The mine collapse that nearly killed him and claimed his brother's life meant leaving West Virginia forever. Although that hard Appalachian world was all he knew, he put it behind him and headed for the open sky of the thriving town of 1954 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Larkin Heyward's life in the beach town is uncomplicated, mostly volunteer work and dancing at the Pavilion. But she dreams of one day doing more and being more--maybe moving to the hills and hollers of Kentucky to help the poor children of Appalachia. But she's never even met someone who's lived there--until she encounters Judd, the newest employee at her father's timber company.
Drawn together in the wake of a hurricane that changes Myrtle Beach forever, Judd's and Larkin's dreams pull them in divergent directions. It will take a significant sacrifice to keep them together--or maybe, it will take a miracle.
My Thoughts: I was pulled back and forth with this book. On the one hand, I really like Judd's character and reading his scenes was enjoyable. Judd was a really sweet guy who never tried to force his opinion on others, only stated his mind and left it at that. And though this seems to be a growing trend in romance, stepping away from the alpha male heroes, it is a trend that I fully enjoy.
On the other hand, I was not a fan of Larkin. I felt that she was fairly immature and that the book gave her easy outs to her poor decisions. Rather than having to learn to make better choices, she is only encouraged to "follow her dreams", even though these dreams are ill defined and could be followed out where she already is rather than her having to runaway to the mountains. That's not to say that her character did not grow. I did prefer her toward the later half of the story and the way she was with Kyle and Granny. But by then, she willingly turned over the dreams she had worked so hard to achieve.
As to the book as a whole, the pacing is slow, which I liked, but it also meant that most all of the conflict came from the characters themselves. The hurricane that the description of the book mentions hardly makes an impact on the story itself and the conflict hinted at throughout which related to Pete ends up happening mostly off screen. As a character driven story, Judd is a compelling character whose scenes always read with enough conflict to keep the story interesting. And his romance with Larkin is a sweet one. I just wish that Larkin could have been more responsible.
I have provided an honest review after having received a copy of the book from the publisher.