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Oak Harbor, WA
4 Stars Out Of 5
Abrupt ending mars great character study
July 31, 2014
Oak Harbor, WA
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 dcor. 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.
I received a complimentary egalley of this novel from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
But I received a free review copy in eBook from Lauraine Snelling and I decided to give it a try.
And darn it! Now Im going to have to go buy the paper version too!
BE WARNED! This book will pull you right in and it will NOT let go of your heart strings!
And its not just the mysterious little boy who has hold of them either.
Chapter 1 of Heaven Sent Rain had me going Huh What Why
It dives right into the story and hits the ground running. And it only took a paragraph for me to be hooked.
Chapter 2 had me going Awwww. And then, Huh again I will NOT spoil it for you but I will say this is an extraordinary book written about an unexpected journey guided by what some will probably try to deny is The Holy Spirit even though it clearly is Gods voice that Dinah is hearing in the completely unexpected thoughts that simply will not stop and it is a book that EVERYONE should read!
I am so glad I asked to review this book. I might have missed out on the tremendous blessing otherwise.
The absolutely only complaint I have is that Lauraine is just a bit stingy with details she drops little hints of detail and then moves on without explaining. And perhaps her usual readers prefer this or they know enough about her writing to read between the lines but it just left me feeling confused.
However, the impact of the story itself far outweighs any petty issues I might have. It is well worth a read!
I would also like to extend my congratulations to the cover designer. It is spectacular. Not only does it bring to mind what we see in the book (minus perhaps the rain coat our mysterious little boy is wearing), it also looks so realistic, you can almost hear the rain.
I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.
You are about to encounter a young boy named Jonah and his dog, Downmutt. They are an unlikely pair if you should ever meet them. Sitting outside during a rainy day on a park bench, they will change the life of Dinah Taylor, scientist and pharmaceutical CEO of Food for Life. Some might call it fate, but Jonah sees it as God's hand in his day. While waiting outside in the rain, Dinah feels compelled to buy this inspiring boy she is drawn to breakfast. Not sure if he is homeless or what his reason for being on the bench is, besides waiting to go to school, Dinah is convinced she needs to know more. While he doesn't look the part of a homeless boy, even if his dog does, Jonah displays a childlike innocence and maturity that draws people to him like a moth to a flame. It's the very reason Dinah finds herself meeting Jonah every morning for breakfast. She hopes to learn more about him.
Dinah is fine with her life the way it was before Jonah, on the cutting edge of developing and marketing a product that eliminates the symptoms of diabetes without claiming that it does just that. Even though all the clinical case studies is showing surprising and miraculous results, she knows if they market it as a drug then the FDA will need to get involved and that will cause the product to be delayed for further testing. So she is marketing the products as a food supplement to bypass the long lengthy process to get it into the hands of people who need it now.
When a late night phone call from Jonah demands help from Dinah to aid his dog that has been attacked, she knows she needs to help. Unsure of why his mother can't aid Jonah, she meets him on the corner and drives him to an urgent care clinic for animals. Dinah only knows that Jonah can't lose his dog because of the bond that goes beyond a simple boy caring for his beloved dog. They seem to be connected at a soul level and she will stop at nothing to ensure that the dog receives the very best medical care. Even though it means more than a handful of stitches, a cone of shame, and a few days at the pet hospital Jonah is thrilled to learn he won't lose his dog. Garrett Miller, the veterinarian assures Jonah he can come by as often as he wants to see Downmutt. As part of his practice Garrett draws a caricature of the pets and their owners and for some reason seems obsessed with Jonah and his dog. He finds himself drawing and painting them whenever he has a free moment. Just what is calling on his heart and soul to keep this little boy in his heart?
But bigger plans are being put in the works and these seemingly random events all have a divine purpose when fate hands Jonah the ultimate hand in life. What role will Dinah have to play in Jonah's life? Will she have what it takes to help her through the transition she doesn't see coming? What is the obsession that Garrett has with the look in Jonah's eyes? What role does he have to play in what circumstances follow Jonah? Find out in Lauraine Snelling's latest novel, Heaven Sent Rain that I received from Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Group for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. There are no coincidences in life, simply divine appointments and in the lives of Jonah Morgan, Dinah Taylor and Garrett Miller. They will each find out what God is calling them each to do and how they will all intersect. Each of them will have their faith put to the ultimate test to see which will be refined and which will grow in character and strength in the end. I easily give this one a well deserved 5 out of 5 stars. Sometimes it takes awhile to see the good in the storms life hands us and it isn't until we get to the other side that we can see God's hand in it all.
Heaven Sent Rain is a touching, heartbreaking, gut wrenching, and inspiring read. This is the first time I have read anything by this author. I now know why she is so popular. I found Heaven Sent Rain to have kept my interest throughout. I didn't want to put the book down.
Dinah Taylor and Garret Miller are professionals with busy careers who find themselves drawn into the world of Jonah and his dog, Mutt. Through a turn of events, Dinah finds herself in a guardianship role to Jonah and she must learn how to balance work and family. Garrett provides a counterbalance for Dinah and the two find themselves bumping into one another in difference circumstances. There are some oddities in the story of Jonah's young life, but the true goal of the story is bringing three people closer to each other and to God. Author Snelling works with that theme and creates an enjoyable tale in the process. Thanks for FaithWords for providing me an advance copy for review.