I have never read any of Sandra Brown's work before, despite the fact that she seems to release a new book a few times a year. Her books are mysteries, and while I do read mysteries from time to time, that is not the type of book I would instantly pick up. Rainwater is a departure from the mystery genre. Set during the Depression, Rainwater is a beautiful historical fiction novel - one I started yesterday afternoon and finished before bed.
Ella is a single mother caring for her autistic son Solly. While autism is not diagnosed during this time period, his characteristics make his disorder easy to identify for readers today. To make money Ella runs a boarding house, cooking, cleaning and providing a room to several boarders. When Dr. Kincaid approaches her about taking in a relative of his, David Rainwater, she agrees, despite the fact that Mr. Rainwater has terminal cancer. Mr. Rainwater is different than other men she has known, and eventually Ella finds herself attracted to him. He works patiently with her son, finding some skill that Solly has with numbers. He also becomes involved in the community, trying to stop a group of thugs from their bullying of the colored and poor people living in shantytowns. Brown creates a beautiful love story, allowing the reader to know early on that tragedy is waiting. She does not disappoint, but to say more would give away the ending.
Rainwater is a book I could recommend to people of all ages and interests - easily readable, very enjoyable, and highly recommended.