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In the mid 1950’s, Judd Markley is a coal miner who loses his brother in a mine cave-in. He decides to stop working in that dangerous industry. He leaves West Virginia and moves to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, taking a job at a Waccamaw Timber Company.
Larkin Heyward’s father owns the timber company. She is a socialite who often volunteers and attends high society social events. Eventually she wants to make a difference in the world by helping the poor children of Appalachia.
Even though the two are from completely different worlds, a devastating hurricane brings the two together.
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2017
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
Larkin Heyward's life in Myrtle Beach is uncomplicated, mostly doing volunteer work and dancing at the Pavilion. But she dreams of one day doing more--maybe moving to the 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 devastating hurricane, Judd and Larkin each seek answers to what tomorrow will bring. As opposition rises against following their divergent dreams, they realize that it may take a miracle for them to be together.
KavRCanadaGender: female5 Stars Out Of 5A stunning portrayal of life and love and the faith that connects it allMarch 7, 2018KavRCanadaGender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5"Sometimes the people who needed the most help didn't look like they need any help at all."
Sarah Loudin Thomas has a lyrical style that is sheer poetry. I find myself reading out loud from time to time just to hear the impact of her words. The Sound of Rain is an exquisite escape into another time and place. And I have a secret fascination for all things Appalachia. Stoic people, hardworking and proud. They blend faith and culture into a fascinating seize-the-moment kind of living that really speaks to me.
But Judd leaves that life in a bid to escape heartbreaking reminders of all that he has lost. He flees the darkness of the coal mines for the promise of light in work above ground in South Carolina. What he doesn't realize is that he carries that darkness within him.
By contrast, Larkin's light shines brightly. Enthusiastically. Misdirected at times but she has a gift for brightening the lives of the people around her. It's a dangerous gift in the hands of someone who doesn't recognize its power -- and Larkin doesn't in the beginning of the story. She's spoiled and idealistic which Judd finds both frustrating and fascinating. But he's drawn to that inner glow and Larkin is equally intrigued by a real-life mountain man.
In some ways, Judd and Larkin's stories seem independent of each other as their goals lead them in different directions. That doesn't mean they don't share a lot of 'page time', because they do and when that happens there's an undeniable connection that speaks of hope in their future. Of course, there's a lot to work through before Thomas brings us to that end. Larkin needs to grow up some, and Judd need to open up more. There's a lovely spiritual undercoating that binds their stories together even when they are miles apart.
Sarah Loudin Thomas delivers another stunning portrayal of life and love and the faith that connects it all.
SC4 Stars Out Of 5Fabulous readJanuary 31, 2018SCQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I really enjoyed this book. It's setting is different from my normal read. I loved the historical tidbits of 1950's Myrtle Beach, Hurricane Hazel and the Appalachian hills of Western Virginia and Kentucky. Judd and Larkin, both from such diverse worlds, struggle with discerning and following God's will in their lives. George, Larkin's father, struggles with wanting to leave a legacy. But what kind of legacy is of true value?
The author immediately pulled me into the story from the very first page. She is skillful in painting a picture with words that draws the reader into the story, rich with images and authentic vernacular. I look forward to reading more books by this author.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
BookwormAge: 25-344 Stars Out Of 5Sweet, clean, satisfying storyJanuary 11, 2018BookwormAge: 25-34Quality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4He closed his eyes and focused on the pain in his ribs, his leg, his head--anything but the pain in his heart. ~excerpt, Chapter 1
The Sound of Rain is the fifth story I've read by Sarah Loudin Thomas. She is a talented southern fiction storyteller with a spiritual, healing inclination.
I love the West Virginia, Kentucky, and South Carolina settings. The setting(s) add so much to the story. And the 1950s is a unique time period (for me) in historical fiction. The nostalgic feel is as much a character in the story as the main characters, Judd and Larkin.
Judd is an interesting man. He deals with his upended life the best he knows how, but something is missing. Larkin is the daughter of Judd's new boss, has a completely different outlook and background than Judd. The two are attracted, but struggle with their dreams of the future.
Cons: I had one or two unanswered questions upon completion, and the pacing was a bit slower than I prefer.
You can't go wrong with a SLT book. Ms. Thomas infuses her stories with tangible emotion and a sweet, spiritual thread.
The Sound of Rain is a sweet, clean, satisfying read.
I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House and NetGalley.
Yvette K.5 Stars Out Of 5Charming 1950's RomanceJanuary 8, 2018Yvette K.Quality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Sarah Loudin Thomas' newest novel is headed straight for my re-read shelf. Though I was a bit skeptical when it came to the 1950's rich girl/poor boy storyline, it was so much more than this.
It was the potentially condescending desire of a rich 21 year old girl to help those less fortunate, where such help is not wanted, that had me prepared to dislike Larkin as a character. Her work as a Candy Striper began to wear me down, however, and just like Judd, I was won over by her joyous nature. I found I quite liked them as a couple well before the end. Not without a bit of frustration, however, as Larkin makes some poor decisions and they each try to figure out what and who they are meant to be.
As joyous and charmingly naive as Larkin is, Judd is endearingly humble, and admirable in his care for others and straight-forward nature. Both the Appalachians and the South Carolina coast are depicted with details that bring the 1950's setting to life. From the weather to the assortment of secondary characters, the struggles with faith, purpose, honesty, and manipulation come together with the slow building romance of Judd and Larkin for a heart-warming and enjoyable read. Highly recommended.
I voluntarily received a finished copy for review through the Bethany House Blogger Review Program. All opinions expressed are my own.
Sonny4 Stars Out Of 5The Power of the Sound of RainJanuary 5, 2018SonnyQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0I enjoyed the story and the characters in this lovely novel. It was such a pleasure to read this story for the author. I can relate to Judd in how it feels to lose a sibling and to Lark for wanted to do mission work for God. The cast of characters really made this story come alive with purpose and feeling.