Monday, September 27, 2021

IF IT RAINS by Jennifer L. Wright, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

“This drought, this depression...we are in blackness. We can either shine in the dark or be overcome by it. Sometimes shining means staying. Sometimes it means going. But it never means to quit.”

This is a story of two sisters during the Dust Bowl of 1933. Melissa who stayed in dry, dusty Oklahoma and Kathryn who set out for Indianapolis and the hope for a better future.

This is the debut novel from Jennifer L. Wright. The author writes with dramatic prose that puts you right there with Kathryn and her gut wrenching journey, trying to reconnect with her father. Melissa’s life is no less harrowing as she exchanges poverty for seeming affluence in the middle of dwindling resources. Melissa has to contend with an abusive husband and hide all for appearances sake.

Both women are strong in different ways, but the author portrays them as totally believable and shows how God is in their midst no matter what. “For so long I had focused on what I lacked, what had been taken from me — while God had been trying to show me what had always and would always remain: Him.”

I liked the way Ms. Wright used The Wizard of Oz to connect the sisters even though they were far apart. I also liked the way Kathryn looked at the stars and remembered good times with her family.

Thank you Ms. Wright for giving us a look at a troubling time in our history and a story of hope in God.
*I won a copy of this book from the author through ACFW Book Club. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.*5 stars strong faith thread 

BackCover Blurb:
A story of resilience and redemption set against one of America’s defining moments—the Dust Bowl.
It’s 1935 in Oklahoma, and lives are determined by the dust. Fourteen-year-old Kathryn Baile, a spitfire born with a severe clubfoot, is coming of age in desperate times. Once her beloved older sister marries, Kathryn’s only comfort comes in the well-worn pages of her favorite book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Then Kathryn’s father decides to relocate to Indianapolis, and only the promise of a surgery to finally make her “normal” convinces Kathryn to leave Oklahoma behind. But disaster strikes along the way, and Kathryn must rely on her grit and the ragged companions she meets on the road if she is to complete her journey.

Back in Boise City, Melissa Baile Mayfield is the newest member of the wealthiest family in all of Cimarron County. In spite of her poor, rural upbringing, Melissa has just married the town’s most eligible bachelor and is determined to be everything her husband—and her new social class—expects her to be. But as the drought tightens its grip, Henry’s true colors are revealed. Melissa covers her bruises with expensive new makeup and struggles to reconcile her affluent life with that of her starving neighbors. Haunted by the injustice and broken by Henry’s refusal to help, Melissa secretly defies her husband, risking her life to follow God’s leading.

Two sisters, struggling against unspeakable hardship, discover that even in their darkest times, they are still united in spirit, and God is still with them, drawing them home.

Tyndale Publishing, July, 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:



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