Archive for the ‘1950’s’ Tag

Review of The Sound of Rain by Sarah Loudin Thomas   Leave a comment

Judd Markley is a hardworking coal miner who rarely thinks much past tomorrow until he loses his brother–and nearly his own life–in a mine cave-in. Vowing never to enter the darkness of a mine again, he leaves all he knows in West Virginia to escape to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It’s 1954, the seaside community is thriving, and Judd soon hires on with a timber company.

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.

***

After a mining accident that nearly claimed Judd Markley’s life and took that of his brother, Judd decides on a drastic change by leaving all he’s ever known and embarking on the life he would have wanted his brother to have.

Larkin Heyward is a pampered rich girl who dreams of doing something big in the world that will make her feel useful, but feels compelled to stay with her family after the loss of her brother.

I’m always been drawn to deep stories. Those make up some of my all time favorites, so when I read the summary for this, its promise of a haunting and poignant story convinced me to give it a try. Unfortunately, its promise turned out to be hallow, at least for me.

The beginning starts out decent enough, with us trapped in the cave-in with Judd. And even his journey to South Carolina as he tries to mend his broken heart keeps you turning the pages. Larkin is okay, but not what you would call ever compelling. Still, I waited to see her journey of growth and romance with Judd.

Results were less than adequate. Like one reviewer already mentioned here, the premise advertised for this story is a little deceptive. Part of the draw in selecting this story was reading about a hurricane ripping through the town and drawing Judd and Larkin together. That hurricane went by as fast as it came, and left next to zero impact on the characters, unless you can count getting soaked in the rain as something. I didn’t even reach the halfway point in the story before it was gone. Expecting to see the characters rally after the horror and trauma of this devastating ordeal, I was surprised at how quickly the whole ordeal was glossed over. We then move to Larkin attempting an escape away from her domineering father so she can join her brother in bringing help to those “poor Appalachian folks”. And yes, my reaction did mirror Judd’s with that one.

With the hurricane moment gone, I thought we were going to do the whole ‘rich woman goes to the backwoods and learns how to fend for herself’ thing. Again, glossed over.

Honestly, the story wandered. I felt the author really didn’t know where to lead the story, so we kind of just weaved in and out of bits of drama, that were thrown in there just to keep things going.

The part about learning to live your life and healing is great, but you want to see some kind of journey with that and growth on the characters’ parts. Judd stayed as the mild-mannered man always reflecting on the loss of his brother and doing the same thing every day, while Larkin remained as a spoiled and impulsive woman who doesn’t change until practically near the end of the book.

Spiritual elements are about the same. One character will go off spouting a sermon or such, but that’s about the extent of it. You more cringe than feel anything resonant within you, which is quite disappointing. The only positive thing I can give this story is that the writing is good. I just wish the story had measured up to it.

Conclusion: As a mild, light read that takes its time and doesn’t worry about pacing, character growth, or a meaningful spiritual connection much, this is it, and judging from the amount of positive reviews on here, I believe the majority will find this story much more to their liking.

Verdict: Pass

(I received a free copy of the book from the publisher and author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.)

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