This weekend, starting today, CFBA is touring a brand new book call Raising Rain by Debbie Fuller Thomas.This is the first book I've read by this author and I can say it won't be the last.
If you are old enough to remember the late sixties and early seventies you will particularly relate to this story of four women, now in their fifties, who were in college during that time. But even if you are too young to remember those days (bless you!) you will still enjoy this multi-layered story.
The main character, Bebe, is the most conservative of the group as a veterinarian for small animals and a prodigal who returned to God a long while before. She, together with Toni and Mare, helped their radical roommate Jude raise her daughter, Rainbow Brite, while Jude attended law school. Bebe remained in Rain's life as an almost surrogate mother while Jude spent her time protesting wars, government, abortion and whatever else she found wrong with society.
Now, many years later, they are brought back together by Jude. She has untreatable cancer and wants a last "hurrah" to celebrate her life. At the same time Rain, now a woman in her late thirties, is struggling with who she is and what wants out of life. She has sent her boyfriend packing because he doesn't want the baby she is longing to have. Like her mother she is inclined to go it alone and have a child.
All have left their protesting days behind except Jude and they come together for one final weekend. Will they survive?
It took me a couple chapters to get into the story, but with Thomas's easygoing way of storytelling, I was soon sucked into the story and kept wishing for time to read to see what was going to happen next in the lives of the ill-matched women.
The character and spiritual arcs ease upwards at a satisfying pace for Bebe and Rain, the POV characters, but this also holds true for many of the other characters. And there are a lot of characters, but Thomas masterfully works her words well to keep the reader from becoming confused.
In the occasional fashback chapters to those turbulant years I loved being reminded of things like Tab (Coca Cola's diet drink of that time), Janis Joplin, and a variety of pop music titles from the era. I wasn't a part of the protest scene myself, but one couldn't escape it if you wanted to.
I highly recommend this book.!
If you would like to read the first chapter of Raising Rain, go HERE.
GREAT NEWS! I just heard from Debbie that she is offering a chance at a free copy of Raising Rain on her website. Head over to http://debbiefullerthomas.com and sign up for her newsletter. She'll throw your name in the hat. She has three copies to give away, so don't delay!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Debbie writes contemporary fiction from an historic Gold Rush town in Northern California. By day, she manages after school and day camp programs, and she burns the midnight oil to write what she loves. Her first book Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon, is a Christy finalist. Raising Rain, her second book became available September 2009.
Debbie has contributed to story collections such as Chicken Soup for the Bride's Soul, and Lord, I Was Happy Shallow, along with articles in Coping With Cancer magazine.
She has two teenagers and her husband is the executive pastor on Sonrise Church with 1,000 members. Debbie is a manager at Auburn Area Parks and Recreation.