Friday, October 9, 2015
The Sweetest Rain - Giveaway and Review
For me, historical novels don't have to be a perfect match to something that has happened in history. I am not one of those fact checkers who are more concerned with the accuracy of the novel that the story itself. For me, if I can get so lost in the novel that I forget about time or that I feel like I can really see this happening in my mind, for me, that is a successful author and novel. In this case, that honor goes to Myra Johnson in her novel The Sweetest Rain. I am so thrilled I got the opportunity to review this one because as I have read in my history books quite a bit about the Great Depression but also the Dust Bowl. Living in California and suffering under some of the effects of the drought, it made me really want to know what a family might endure in the 1930's dealing with the effects of both of these issues.
In The Sweetest Rain, the first in the Flowers of Eden Series, we meet Bryony Linwood, who is struggling to help her grandfather and two younger sisters, Rose and Larkspur, to bring in what remains of their cotton crop. Like most tenant farmers, they are responsible to pay for the right to farm the land with a portion or share of their crops to the plantation owners, in this case, the Heath family. After another horrible year with dealing with the drought in Eden, Arkansas, it looks as if they will have to find another source of income if they want to keep food on the table. Bryony insists in pleading her case before Mr. Heath in hopes that he might give them more time to pay their rent. But another opportunity presents itself, when the plantation has need for another maid and if Bryony is obliged to work for the Heath's, he will deduct her earnings from what her grandfather owes him.
She just didn't expect to find love within the confines of the Heath plantation. Michael Heath is still recovering from the effects of mustard gas he was exposed to while fighting in the war as well as PTSD, or shell shock as it was known then. He finds solace in the botanical sketches he has been doing in his sketchbook and shares them with his mother, who is suffering from the early onset of Alzheimer's. It's the caring concern that Bryony shows for his mother by reading to her from one of the many books in the home, to taking walks in the garden that helps ease some of her symptoms but one thing is certain, that the love that is developing between the two is one thing his father will not tolerate or stand for. He has already cast out his daughter when she fell in love with the hired help and wound up pregnant. There is nothing Mr. Heath will not let stand in his way, even if it means doing the same to Bryony and her family as well.
I received The Sweetest Rain by Myra Johnson compliments of Franciscan Media for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review, aside from a free copy of the book, the opinions contained here are strictly my own personal ones. I love how well this message of redemption and hope comes across in this novel. It highlights how some families would have to band together in tough times to make ends meet. It also shows what keeps families together and what drives them apart as well as what each of them has to do to survive during the most difficult of circumstances. I can't wait to read more about this amazing and resilient Linwood family in the very near future. For me, this one rates a 4.5 out of 5 stars.
For more information about The Sweetest Rain, Myra Johnson or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can find Myra Johnson on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.
To read more reviews on The Sweetest Rain, please visit Franciscan Media's website.
Now for the amazing part. Thanks to the generosity of Franciscan Media, they are offering a giveaway copy of this novel to one lucky follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart. Here are your guidelines for entering:
1. "Like" my Facebook page, Reviews From The Heart.
2. Not a Facebook user, no problem, make sure you are a follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart.
3. Be a resident of the U.S. No P. O. Boxes please.
4. Leave me a comment below telling me why you'd love to win a copy of this novel. Don't forget to include your email address so I can contact you if you're the lucky winner. You can even use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols.
I will notify the winner of the giveaway by email once it ends on October 16th, so be sure to enter. You can enter as many times as you want.