Sunday, June 17, 2012
I discovered Charles Martin when I read his first book, The Dead Don't Dance, published by Thomas Nelson. I saw the title at my local library, and became intrigued with the cover, so I brought it home.
That was one time, I did right in judging a book by it's cover and I fell head over heels for Charles's writing.
Since that first book, I have eagerly awaited every single new release. My favorite thus far? Hard to choose but I would rate The Mountain Between Us right up there with When Crickets Cry. You'll need Kleenex for both!
ALL of his books could be made into a movie, and currently, The Mountain Between Us is in the works. I hope they do the book justice. You can read my review of The Mountain Between Us here.
I just finished reading Thunder and Rain and wow - it was intense. Charles took readers on a wild, painful ride and blended some history about authentic Texas Rangers (nothing to do with baseball) into this story. The main characters are quite a blend of past and present. There's some tough subject matter in this book dealing with rape. It's not a sticky sweet, easy kind of romance all wrapped up in a nice, neat package.
I hurt reading this book. I wanted to scoop up Hope and take her far away. At some points, I wasn't sure I wanted to finish this book. And then I couldn't leave it alone. Charles's books do that to me. They get me every-single-time. They are deep, painful, and emotional. This one at times, was disturbing.
Thunder and Rain wasn't my favorite. (I just can't get over Annie and her lemonade stand!!), and I found it to be much different than the other books I've read in the sense of tough subject matter and language. It was rougher than his other books, but it was still a story worth reading and when I arrived at the end, I was wrung out emotionally, just as I've come to expect when reading a Charles Martin novel.
Some of his other longtime readers appear to be confused (and some are downright offended), thinking this book is being marketed as Christian fiction, as his previous titles were, when published by Thomas Nelson. I've read a few comments where readers have been disappointed with some of the content, language and subject matter, however, the newest three books are with a different publisher.
I am just putting this out there, to clear up that Thunder and Rain is not being sold as Christian fiction, as far as I can tell. Center Street has this book listed on their site as Genre: FICTION , SUSPENSE & THRILLERS
It is also available at www.cbd.com, and www.parable.com and I do not see it listed as Christian fiction there either.
Personally, I would prefer to see this author go back to his roots and write Christian fiction much like the first few books I read. That style of writing is what caused me to enjoy his stories so much and what made him stand apart from other authors.
More conservative readers should approach this as a PG rating, due to some strong language and light sexual innuendos. God's name is NOT taken in vain in this book and there are no heavy sex scenes. Hope, the little girl in this book, writes letters to God and talk to him about everything and anything. Some parts of the book may be a little "TMI" for some folks.
I was appreciative of the way Charles created one of the main characters, Ty, as a man of integrity throughout this book. I would encourage you to take the time to read this blog post, where Charles received a note from a reader, after finishing Thunder and Rain.
You can read the first three chapters and decide for yourself, if this is a book you'll want to finish:
As always, I am left anxiously awaiting the next book by Charles Martin!
Thanks to Hachette Book Group for sending me a review copy, in exchange for my honest opinion.