Monday, March 16, 2015

The Boy Who Loved Rain by Gerard Kelly

The Boy Who Loved Rain by Gerard Kelly
Published January 2015 by Lion Fiction
Source: my copy courtesy of the publisher and TLC Book Tours

Publisher's Summary:
Colom had the perfect childhood, the much-loved only child of a church pastor. Yet he wakes screaming from dreams in which his sister is drowning and he can’t save her.

Fiona turns to her husband, desperate to help their son. But David will not acknowledge that help is needed—and certainly not help from beyond the church.

Then they find the suicide pledge.

Fiona, in panic, takes Colom and flees… but when will she acknowledge that the unnamed demons Colom faces might be of her and David’s own creation?

My Thoughts:
I feel this book may not be getting a fair shake from me so I want to be clear about that up front. I got myself in a bit of a bind the first of February with books I "had" to read then spent the last couple of weeks loving being able to choose what I wanted to read. Then I had to stop and read this one for this review and I was, I'll admit, a little resentful about having to read this particular book at this particular time.

Gerard Kelly has written quite a lot of books but this is his first foray into the work of fiction. His other writings are collections of poetry and books about religion. It shows in his writing here, with writing that is often poetic and the theme of religious belief running throughout the book. Unfortunately, these were also two areas of the writing that I had problems with.
"The deepest waves were breaking early, crashing against the harbour wall itself. Some bounced back out to collide with those still heading shorewards, spewing foam and spray. The sea was boiling."
Kelly's descriptions of the French landscape were lovely. For me, though, there was too much of it. Too many times that the story got bogged down with it, particularly when the story moved to France.

From the publisher's summary, and the first eighty pages of the book, I believed that David's church was going to play a bigger part in the story. His insistence that Colom's problem could not be disclosed outside of the church gave me the impression that the church itself was controlling their lives. That wasn't the case, although David's particular strength and focus made their problem something that he would not have wanted to be made public. Even though it wasn't a bad thing that the direction the book turned wasn't what I was expecting, it did leave a major piece of those first eighty pages dangling.

Kelly spends a significant portion of the book exploring the spirituality of his characters. Given, though, that the focus of the book was the battle to uncover what was troubling Colom, it seemed ti me that more time should have been given to conversations which happened behind scenes and less on whether or not Kelly's characters can resolve their issues with God.

That all being said, Kelly's storyline was certainly compelling, more so than I can even tell you without giving away the key to the story. What happens when we hold on too tightly to secrets?  Is telling the truth always the best choice? I think I could have really liked this book a lot had it been edited a little differently, a little more tightly, some pieces brought more to the fore. Things came together much better for me as the book went on and I enjoyed the ending.

I think you'll find that most of the others on the tour enjoyed the book more than I did and I recommend you check out the full tour for other opinions. Thanks to the ladies at TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour!


  1. I'm curious about this one, not sure I'm curious enough to read it, but it's there. Are the religious aspects overt, or are they more in the background of the narrative?

  2. This is a book I have had my eye on, trying to decide if it is one I want to read. I am still not sure about it. The issues you bring up might also be ones that bother me. Maybe knowing that upfront will help me ignore them? Hmm. I do like the title though!

  3. There's nothing worse than reading a good book at the wrong time--I did that with The Historian the first time I tried it, and simply couldn't appreciate it. It does sound like there's a lot of good stuff in this book, and I would probably enjoy the descriptions of France because I like that sort of thing, but I understand the frustration when a book seems to veer off course.

  4. I am reading this one now and I am late on posting - I too got into a book bind and suddenly my review time was here and I was not ready. I still have a ways to go and it is not as fast moving as I had hoped.