Wrapped in Rain
Wrapped In Rain by Charles Martin
This is the story of Tucker Mason and how he overcame growing up in the home of an abusive, strict, alcoholic father. His half-brother, Matthew, who goes by Mutt, didn't fare so well. When the book opens, Mutt is in a mental hospital being treated for schizophrenia. Their father Rex left the boys for long periods of time with a caregiver. When he was home, he mistreated the boys.
In flashbacks we learn about Miss Ella Rain, the black woman hired to care for Tucker and Mutt. She was forty-five, a childless widow, and daughter of the son of a slave. She helped her younger brother Moses get through college. He serves in the military and become a doctor.
When the story begins, we learn that Miss Ella has died and Tucker has taken her last name. Tucker Rain is an internationally renowned photographer with cover photos on all the major magazines. He is on his way back to the family home in a small Alabama town even as his agent tries to get him to go on jobs. The family home, which Tucker now owns, is called Waverly Hall. Tucker's father was a mean person, but he had a knack for making money. He was worth more than $50 million by the time he was forty.
On the trip home, Tucker meets a woman, Katie Wither with a child, first at a food stop and later when her car breaks down. It turns out she was a neighbor of the Mason's and a close childhood friend. She was a talented musician, who played the piano as a child at the Mason's home with encouragement from Miss Ella. She left to study piano at Julliard, and later married an unfaithful and abusive man, Trevor. She divorced him, but ran away to protect her five-year old son, Jase.
After rescuing Katie and Jase, and learning of their situation, Tucker talks her into hiding out at the Mason home. When they get there, Tucker finds out his brother has left the hospital where Tucker had taken him seven years earlier.
Katie, Jase and Tucker find Mutt and the three adults recall childhood memories and get together to plan a super Christmas. Moses is at there, too.
The background information is introduced gradually, as needed, without distracting the reader from the main flow of the story.
I loved meeting these characters. Tucker was able to forgive his father and that is what made him special. Mutt tried to control himself, but he couldn't. He was a good man, but unable to be like others. Katie was a good mother who let herself get tricked into marrying an abusive man. She would survive. Moses, set good examples for the brothers when they were children and when they were adults. Along with Ella, he helped them survive.
It was a satisfying story with characters you'll not soon forget.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
June 28, 2012
Pretty good story.
Wrapped in Rain is a story by Charles Martin. The book opens up on a boy named Tucker. Raised by a wealthy but abusive father, he tries to overcome his past and the pain that came with it. He is raised by his maid, Miss Ella, who comforts him in his sad moments.
The book was filled with twists and surprises, yet hard to start. I wish that the beginning was more exciting. After Miss EllaÃ¢ÂÂs death, Tucker must deal with life, without that help and guidance of Miss Ella. He buries himself in his work as a world class photographer. One day, his life changes. He rescues his long-lost childhood sweetheart, who is running away from her abusive husband. With her there, he has to deal with old issues of unforgiveness. When his brother disappears from a mental hospital where he has been confined, Tucker must face more problems. Through it all, he is reminded of Miss Ella's words of wisdom.
Charles Martin writes a story of love, pain, forgiveness and grace. I enjoyed it, but found it to be slow moving in parts. I'm not sure I'd ever read it again.
*Note: I received this book free for review through BookSneeze. I'm not required to write a positive review, only an honest one.*
December 28, 2011
My New Favorite Author :-)
Well. I have a new favorite writer. From the first page to the last, I was in love with this story. Charles Martin writes a book that puts you in the middle of the scenes, grabs hold of your heart, and leaves you breathless. His compelling characters are broken people with wounds and scars. As the story progresses, you feel the wounds, you root for healing, and you cheer for love to break through.
This story about a rich man whose sons have only a nanny named Ella Rain to love them, and the story of how her love of God radiates through every moment of her life, was beautifully told. The passages about the boysÃ¢ÂÂ childhood interwoven with their current adulthood paint a picture of heartache and triumph that so resonate with the way life really is.
Reading about EllaÃ¢ÂÂs love for her charges, and the way she lived that out to model grace for two children who might never otherwise have encountered it, made me recognize the moments (unfortunately, way too frequent) when I forget that raising my children is not so much about their next activity or the next thing I buy for them, but so much about showing them that Jesus loves them, and knowing that when they round home plate, IÃ¢ÂÂll be there, waiting to hug them close. I want to wear out my knees standing tall for my babies. Thank you, Charles for reminding me.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade CommissionÃ¢ÂÂs 16 CFR, Part 255
September 13, 2011
Lyrical, Beautiful, and Seductive
Ã¢ÂÂTravelers have been delighted to see the footprint of man on a barren shore, and we love to see the marks of pilgrims while passing through the vale of tears.Ã¢ÂÂ
C.H. Spurgeon, Morning By Morning, September 13
Wrapped In Rain by Charles Martin is a story of redemption and return, influenced by the loving life and prayers of the woman, Miss Ella Rain. The narrator is Tucker Mason Rain, one of two brothers raised by Miss Ella. Their father, Rex, is too busy making money to do more than hire Miss Ella to care for the boys, drink expensive liquor, and physically abuse the boys and Miss Ella on the rare occasions when heÃ¢ÂÂs home. The brothers Tucker and Matthew, called Mutt, and their childhood friend, Katie return home to face the ghosts of their childhood, and are redeemed by the Christ to whom Miss Ella prayed.
Wrapped In RainÃ¢ÂÂs greatest strengths are a compelling story told in a beautifully lyrical way. The narrative style is simple and pure and believable. It makes possible a story that might be considered excessively spiritual or that suggests an unbelievably perfect life in Tucker RainÃ¢ÂÂs career success. The way Moses Rain, Miss EllaÃ¢ÂÂs brother and town doctor is described illustrates not only his selfless dedication to others, but also small town culture:
Ã¢ÂÂHis practice policy was simple: come one, come all. And they did. From everywhere. Mose never made much money, but he never went hungry either. He never lacked anything. When his car didnÃ¢ÂÂt start, he found a grateful father underneath the hood, turning a torque wrench, who wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt take a penny for his services. When the weather turned 16 degrees Fahrenheit and his heater went out, he found a load of firewood stacked up next to his back door and a man downstairs working beneath his furnace. When his refrigerator quit, spoiling dinner and tomorrow morningÃ¢ÂÂs breakfast, he and Anna came home from work to find a house full of saran-wrapped plates piled high with roasted chicken, lima beans, scalloped potatoes, and meat loaf. Cooling off in place of the old one, they found a new refrigerator, filled with a few dozen eggs, bacon, milk, and a key lime pie. And when a storm blew in, toppling a sycamore tree that split his house in half, the Rains came home to find a crew of eight men cutting away the tree and stacking firewood. Five days later, they had repaired the damage, nailed an entirely new roof across the house, and begun a small addition off the back porch. And when Anna died at the tender age of fifty-seven, the funeral procession was three miles long and took an hour to congregate, and the funeral home wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt take a penny of his moneyÃ¢ÂÂ (page 101).
Because of the amount of back story necessary to understand the importance of events, the author mixes past and present such that it moves the story forward neither revealing too much detail nor too little. Chapter eleven and beyond are either be split-time (past and present) or very short, building a sense of urgency appropriate to Matthew MasonÃ¢ÂÂs mental condition and the changes Miss Ella RainÃ¢ÂÂs prayers and the Holy Spirit are working in his brother, Tucker.
Anyone who has lived in the American South will be delighted with the humid, bug-ridden, and fried catfish accuracy of the authorÃ¢ÂÂs geographic descriptions. It is impossible to understand a southern summer night without understanding the sweet-hot haze of stars in the faded blanket of blue overhead, the unseen bugs burrowing their way into your skin, and the soft sound of the river moving toward the sea.
This story will touch the heart of the lonely in spirit, who need something they cannot name but recognize it when they see it:
Ã¢ÂÂI inched forward, pressed the tip of my nose against the back of JaseÃ¢ÂÂs head, and breathed a slow, deep, and silent breath. The feel of his soft hair on my top lip and nose reminded me of Miss EllaÃ¢ÂÂs warm, gentle lips on my cheek. When she got older, they grew prickly with fuzz and quivered when she reached up to kiss me. I never shied away from that. Not ever. Prickly or not, I wanted that womanÃ¢ÂÂs lips on my faceÃ¢ÂÂ (page 236).
The book gently suggests the answers to the brutal reality of life and what comes after, with sincerity, honesty, and scriptural accuracy. There are some who would quibble with the dialogue that takes place between Tucker Rain and Miss Ella after she is in heaven, but this is a minor point, a bit of poetic license that helps the story and doesnÃ¢ÂÂt harm the scripture.
Wrapped In Rain is well worth the time spent to read and enjoy it.
This book was given to me by Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for posting a review of the work.
September 13, 2011