Book - 2009
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The year is 1934. With the country in the stranglehold of drought and economic depression, Ella Barron runs her Texas boarding house with an efficiency that ensures her life will be kept in balance. Between chores of cooking and cleaning for her residents, she cares for her ten-year-old son, Solly, a sweet but challenging child whose misunderstood behavior finds Ella on the receiving end of pity, derision, and suspicion. When David Rainwater arrives at the house looking for lodging, he comes recommended by a trusted friend as "a man of impeccable character." But Ella senses that admitting Mr. Rainwater will bring about unsettling changes. However, times are hard, and in order to make ends meet, Ella's house must remain one hundred percent occupied. So Mr. Rainwater moves into her house...and impacts her life in ways Ella could never have foreseen. The changes are echoed by the turbulence beyond the house walls. Friends and neighbors who've thus far maintained a tenuous grip on their meager livelihoods now face foreclosure and financial ruin. In an effort to save their families from homelessness and hunger, farmers and cattlemen are forced to make choices that come with heartrending consequences. The climate of desperation creates a fertile atmosphere for racial tensions and social unrest. Conrad Ellis -- privileged and spoiled and Ella's nemesis since childhood -- steps into this arena of teeming hostility to exact his vengeance and demonstrate the extent of his blind hatred and unlimited cruelty. He and his gang of hoodlums come to embody the rule of law, and no one in Gilead, Texas, is safe. Particularly Ella and Solly. In this hotbed of uncertainty, Ella finds Mr. Rainwater a calming presence. She is moved by the kindness he shows other boarders, Solly...and Ella herself. Slowly, she begins to rely on his soft-spokenness, his restraint, and the steely resolve of his convictions. And on the hottest, most violent night of the summer, those principles will be put to the ultimate test. From acclaimed bestselling author Sandra Brown comes a powerfully moving novel celebrating the largess and foresight of a great bygone generation. It tells a story that bears witness to a bittersweet truth: that love is worth whatever price one must pay for it.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, c2009
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781439172773
Branch Call Number: FIC BRO
Characteristics: 247 p. ; 22 cm


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Mar 30, 2013

Very touching. I read and reread to discern time-frame and relationships. Quick read but quite emotional.

kelleypoole Dec 14, 2012

I just stumbled on this from the shelves and loved it. It's so refreshing to read a book that isn't filled with curse words and people texting! I loved the ease and depth. It was a return to a more heroic symbolism of doing good.

Aug 03, 2011

I actually listened to this on CD in the car and it was very calming. Love Victor Slezak's voice....I otherwise would have never picked this one up. Its a much different book than I normally read. I really enjoyed it.

Apr 20, 2011

A number of mistakes in the details of the Depression.

Aug 08, 2010

A good read, gentle yet descriptive of the harshness of those times and those living through it. Enjoyed it very much.

Apr 24, 2010

Very good read. I like the detail that was gone into and not having the hardships of the times glossed over.

Jan 18, 2010

An excellent enjoyable read, a good introduction to Sandra Brown. Reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird.

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