Home > Book, Genre, GLBTQ, historic, Review > Book Review: The Value of Rain by Brandon Shire

Book Review: The Value of Rain by Brandon Shire

Road during a rainstorm.Summary:
Charles hasn’t been home since his mother and uncle sent him away to an insane asylum at the age of fourteen after he was found in the embrace of his first love–Robert.  Now, ten years later, his mother, Charlotte, is dying, and he comes back to take his revenge.

Review:
This is one of those genre-defying books.  Although classified as GLBTQ, it is so much more than a genre.  Shire explores the devastating effects of prejudice, hate, secrets, and lies throughout family generations, and that is something that is simultaneously universal and tragic.

The book constantly takes the reader by surprise.  At first it seems an expected my-family-didn’t-love-me-because-I’m-gay story, but Charles does *not* get a free pass simply because he is hurt by his family.  He is given chances at new life and redemption from a hate-enshrouded existence, but he doesn’t choose that path.  It is painful to watch, and yet simultaneously understandable.  I applaud Shire for not taking the easy way and by making Charles an easy hero.

The writing is particularly eloquent and strong in description, especially when describing painful topics.  For instance:

She had lived in the maze of Charlotte’s thumbprint and she had not survived. (location 1349)

On the other hand, the dialogue sometimes struggles in comparison to the lyrical descriptions.  For instance, characters often say people’s names more frequently than is natural.  This is a kink that I am sure will be ironed out with time and experience.

I also loved and was totally shocked by the ending.  That is not an easy thing to do to this reader.

Overall this book represents all that can be great about indie publishing.  It is a deep, dark story with a minority, tragic hero that most likely would not be told at a traditional publishing house due to the fact that it does not easily fit into any one genre or marketing scheme.  Of course, that is also why I love it.

Recommended to those with an interest in GLBTQ main characters and multi-generational family dramas.

4 out of 5 stars

Source: Kindle copy from author in exchange for my honest review

Buy It

Note: Half of all proceeds donated to LGBT Youth Charities.

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