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Send Down the Rain


Send Down the Rain

SEND DOWN THE RAIN presents a journey that is as emotionally complex and insightful as it is harrowing. Author Charles Martin is known for his rich and flowing writing style that transports readers to quaint southern towns, his unforgettable lessons on the heart and the soul, and his gripping plots that leave readers starving to turn the pages.

This latest novel is the story of a broken man who has isolated himself in a one-person cabin in the mountains of South Carolina. A large part of the journey is wading through his past and slowly discovering what led him to this point. As a Vietnam War veteran, Joseph “Jo-Jo” Brooks suffers from severe PTSD, leading him not to trust himself as a member of society.

With a dark past and a wounded heart, Jo-Jo sees all of the terrible acts he committed as a debt he owes to the world. He makes recompense through acts of love that seem small to him but change people’s lives. Throughout the book, his physical heart is a ticking time bomb. Jo-Jo walks the line with death as he ignores doctors’ calls and dives into his good deeds rather than taking time for his surgery. In a way, he is mending his metaphorical heart while allowing his physical heart to grow sicker by the day.

"Charles Martin has written a brilliant and honest novel about what it means to be a good person.... SEND DOWN THE RAIN is a thrilling and page-turning work filled with pain, drama and mystery that results in emotional healing."

Jo-Jo claims that everything he touches turns to gold, except people. Though his relationships are complex and imperfect, his financial influence helps to relieve people of their immediate worries, while his fierce love protects his friends and helps them grow emotionally and spiritually.

The inciting incident that brings Jo-Jo out of his reclusive life is the scream of a little girl. He flies to her aid and finds an immigrant family in danger of freezing. He soon learns that they are also in danger of a terrible man, Juan Pedro, who will stop at nothing to hunt them down and cause them harm. Jo-Jo develops a close relationship with this family, seeing them not as struggling immigrants, but rather as people who are down on their luck. He gives them assistance to make it through their trials, as well as love in order to help them be able to trust again.

Jo-Jo wishes to run from his past, but his desire to take care of the family takes him back to his hometown in Florida --- specifically to his recently widowed long-lost love, Allie. Through the narrative, it becomes clear that Jo-Jo learned his steadfast and self-sacrificing kind of love from Allie. This is evident through the stories of their childhood and the gentle and forgiving way she treats him.

The unresolved nature of Allie’s husband Jake’s death leads to much speculation as to what happened in the moments leading up to it. The mystery of the novel thickens as Jo-Jo finds himself the holder of key information about Jake’s passing that forces him to bring a painful truth to light.

Another thread that is intertwined in the book is that of Suzy True. Suzy is a member of the forgotten generation, as she was the child of a Vietnamese woman and an American soldier during the war. She hosts a radio show in which she speaks to veterans, shares their stories, advocates for the bui doi, and searches for her father. She also forces Jo-Jo to be vulnerable with his past. In a novel that describes the injustices the Vietnam War brought upon an entire generation, Martin includes not only the soldier who was in a place the government denied him being, but also the child who was born into a war and had her family torn from her. Jo-Jo often recalls how a war that is so old is still bringing fresh pain.

Charles Martin has written a brilliant and honest novel about what it means to be a good person. He teaches us that good people don’t need to have a clean past. Rather, they work to make up for what they have done through acts of love. SEND DOWN THE RAIN is a thrilling and page-turning work filled with pain, drama and mystery that results in emotional healing.

Reviewed by Julianne Holmquist on May 25, 2018

Send Down the Rain
by Charles Martin

  • Publication Date: May 8, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson
  • ISBN-10: 0718084748
  • ISBN-13: 9780718084745