Review: Rain Song

Rain Song – Alice J. Wisler

Rain Song

scheduled for publication October 2008, 192 pages in my ARC

From the back cover –

Nicole Michelin avoids airplanes, motorcycles, and most of all, Japan, where her parents once were missionaries.  Something happened in  Japan… something that sent Nicole and her father back to America alone.  Something of which Nicole knows only bits and pieces.  But she is content with life in little Mount Olive, North Carolina, with her quirky relatives, tank of lively fish, and plenty of homemade pineapple chutney.

Through her online column for the Pretty Fishy website, Nicole meets Harrison Michaels, who, much to her dismay, lives in Japan.  She attempts to avoid him, but his e-mails tug at her heart. 

Then Harrison reveals that he knew her as a child in Japan.  In fact, he knows more about her childhood than she does!  Will Nicole face her fears in order to discover her past and take a chance on love?

My thoughts –

I received this book from LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program – the first book I have got since I joined the program.  I have been dreading writing this review because, unfortunately, I really did not much enjoy this book.  I wanted to like it.  Even though it is short, if I hadn’t committed to reviewing it, I probably wouldn’t have finished it… but I slogged through, trying SO hard to enjoy it the entire time. 

Ok, so what in particular did I not like about this book… well, first of all, there was one thing that I DID like, and that was the character of Nicole.  She seemed very real and likeable to me.  That’s about it, though.  I didn’t particularly enjoy the story – I felt that it moved along too slowly, and not enough happened to keep my attention throughout the book.  Also, this whole Japan thing – the book centered around the question of will she go or won’t she go, and if she goes, what will happen when she gets there?  Well, I’m going to spoil it for you right now – she goes.  However, Nicole being in Japan was only about the last seven pages of the book.  I’m not kidding.  So, so, so anticlimactic.  I wanted to know SO much more about her time in Japan, about her past, about Harrison, but nothing.  You get a few answers to questions about Nicole’s past, and boom, the book is over.  This, for me, was very disappointing, because I kept reading the book in order to find out what would happen once she got there… and I should have just stopped early into it because there wasn’t anywhere close to enough Japan story for me.

I will say this – if you like Southern fiction, you may want to give this a try.  There’s “Southern wisdom” type stuff about every other page.  I’ve never been into those types of books, but I hear that it’s a pretty popular genre, so maybe that is the audience of this book… if so, give it a try.  Most likely, I just didn’t click with this book and others would still enjoy it.

I feel bad not liking the book, but what else can I say?  It simply wasn’t for me.


8 thoughts on “Review: Rain Song”

  1. Yikes! That’s a tough break. I was lucky enough to get and ARC from LT last month, but luckily I enjoyed mine. Do you think you’ll try for another?

  2. That stinks. I’ve been delaying a review of the ARC I received through Library Thing because I’m still trying to decide whether I liked it or not.

    This one sounded so promising with the book description, too. 😦

  3. Heather: It was interesting to read your remarks/review of this book. I, too, have struggled with the dreaded “negative” review. I have only recently begun to receive review and/or complementary copies. The temptation is to always say good things in order to keep the free books coming — but that’s not what these book forums are all about! I like that while you examined what you did not like about the book, you also mentioned aspects that you thought would appeal to those of us with different tastes. I think you did a good job and, frankly, I intend to check this book out to compare my thoughts with yours. Keep it up!

  4. Hi everyone,
    Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and gave Rain Song good reviews. I heard a Dutch company wants to publish the novel in Dutch. The book is getting lots of attention. Many hope for a sequel because, like you, they want to learn more.

    I liked reading about the marine fish Nicole has, Monet, her cousin’s autistic child, and Grandmother Ducee, who is so wise and loving. These parts of the story were warm and inviting. The story is a beautiful one, the chapters short and easy to read. Nicole grows stronger in the story, expanding her small world. The author really does a great job threading in family and tradition. I look forward to the actual printed book and can’t wait to buy one at my bookstore.

  5. I loved the book, Rain Song! I think you have to read deeply. There is a lot in there about relationships and love of family. I hope there is a sequel, too.

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