I Will Send Rain by Rae Meadows

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Book Blurb from Goodreads.com:

Release Date: August 9, 2016

A luminous, tenderly rendered novel of a woman fighting for her family’s survival in the early years of the Dust Bowl; from the acclaimed and award-winning Rae Meadows.

Annie Bell can’t escape the dust. It’s in her hair, covering the windowsills, coating the animals in the barn, in the corners of her children’s dry, cracked lips. It’s 1934 and the Bell farm in Mulehead, Oklahoma is struggling as the earliest storms of The Dust Bowl descend. All around them the wheat harvests are drying out and people are packing up their belongings as storms lay waste to the Great Plains. As the Bells wait for the rains to come, Annie and each member of her family are pulled in different directions. Annie’s fragile young son, Fred, suffers from dust pneumonia; her headstrong daughter, Birdie, flush with first love, is choosing a dangerous path out of Mulehead; and Samuel, her husband, is plagued by disturbing dreams of rain.

As Annie, desperate for an escape of her own, flirts with the affections of an unlikely admirer, she must choose who she is going to become. With her warm storytelling and beautiful prose, Rae Meadows brings to life an unforgettable family that faces hardship with rare grit and determination. Rich in detail and epic in scope, I Will Send Rain is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, filled with hope, morality, and love.

My Review:

This story is about the Bell family living in Oklahoma during the 1930’s. They are a family of four learning to survive during The Dust Bowl. Annie and Sam Bell married young. Together, they built a farm and are raised two children, Birdie and Fred. They are barely surviving and their community is teetering. Families are packing up and leaving for work elsewhere.

Each member of the Bell family are internally suffering while waiting out this disaster. Annie is unsatisfied with her life choices and starts having feelings towards an admirer. Sam will not give up on the farm and has faith that all will get better. Through his vivid dreams, he believes that torrential rain is on the horizon and decides to build a boat. Birdie, the teenage daughter is in love, and wants to marry. She argues with her mother daily, and is ready to leave the home. Eight year old Fred is mute, very observant, and can only communicate through writing. He is struggling with health issues brought on by the storms.

The author does a tremendous job in making you feel the desperation and despair felt by each family member. The beautiful writing establishes a natural connection between them. Because of this, their relationships and conflicts are well executed. I really enjoyed reading the story from each of the family member’s perspective. The author creates a vivid portrayal of the life of farmers living during this time period.  

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