Thursday, July 31, 2014

Heaven Sent Rain by Lauraine snelling

Heaven Sent Rain is compelling reading. I was caught up in the life of the main character, Dinah, and the disruptive changes happening in her life. She is the CEO of a company she founded, specializing in herbal supplements. She has a disciplined and organized life.

All of that falls apart when she meets seven year old Jonah and his dog, Downmutt. Dinah befriends the young boy she notices sitting outside the burger place where she grabs breakfast. She is soon buying him breakfast and later meets his dying mom. An emergency phone call at night from Jonah and Dinah is gathering up him and a bleeding Downmutt, taking them first to her pristine condo and then to an emergency care veterinarian.

Dinah's life is turned upside down. Jonah's mother had made arrangements for Dinah to be Jonah's guardian. Dinah's latest supplement, an herbal aid for diabetics, is running into trouble thanks to drug companies fearful of losing money. And that veterinarian, Dr. G. What is it about him that unsettles her? Dinah's life crashes when she gets a call from the elementary school. Jonah is in serious trouble.

I really liked the character development in this novel. Dinah reluctantly allows a boy and his dirty dog into her all white decor. That is symbolic of her letting them into her white, clean, and well organized life. Taking in Jonah is a drastic change to her disciplined life and controlled being. Jonah is a Christian and that is hard for Dinah who is very mad at God.

Through dialog with the veterinarian, we learn why she made her life this way and why she has gone into working with herbal supplements. Jonah is a dear boy. I just wanted to hug him.

There are just a couple of issues that made this novel less than perfect. I felt a certain disconnect from time to time. The point of view changes frequently from Dinah to Dr. G. and there were times I felt I was almost reading a different novel, like foreign matter had been inserted into the story line. It all comes together at the end but it was a disconcerting experience.

Also, the end is so abrupt. The novel builds and builds with all the issues Dinah is experiencing. The latest supplement is facing FDA intervention, delaying its release by months. And Jonah is seriously acting out. Then, poof, the epilogue. It is a fairy tale ending rather than one where we know all of these issues were successfully worked through. I felt I was cheated out of the healing process when I had become so familiar with the problems throughout the novel.

Nonetheless, even with the abrupt ending, this novel is a rewarding one. The character study of Dinah is superb. It is so well done I wish there would have been a sequel, rather than an abrupt epilogue.

You can read an excerpt here.

Lauraine Snelling has been writing since 1980 and has more than two million copies of her books in print. She and her husband live in California. You can find out more about her and her books at http://www.laurainesnelling.com/.

FaithWords, 384 pages.

I requested and received a complimentary egalley of this novel from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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