Trade Paper: 320 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
About the Book: “Tucker, I want to tell you a secret,” Miss Ella curled my hand into a fist and showed it to me. “Life is a battle, but you can’t fight it with your fists. You got to fight it with your heart.” In his second novel, Martin introduces Tucker Mason, the motherless son of a wealthy, abusive alcoholic in a small Alabama town. While Dad spends most of his time in an Atlanta high-rise, Tucker grows up in an enormous manse--complete with a “chandelier made from elk horns"--tutored by an African-American widow in common courtesy, love and the gospel. After a few years, an illegitimate son turns up at the Mason compound, Tucker’s half-brother, Mutt. Although Tucker eventually overcomes his gothic childhood and becomes an acclaimed international photographer, he can’t escape the home place. As a grown man, Tucker seems to have an eye for tragedy and pain. As celebrated, internationally famous photographer, he has traveled the world and seen both the serious and the strange. But when his brother escapes from a mental hospital and an old girlfriend appears with her son and a black eye, Tucker is forced to return home and face agony of his own tragic past. It is here that the true story begins....when Tucker returns to his childhood home and is pushed into making peace with this past, including his schizophrenic half-brother, Mutt, and an ex-girlfriend who, with her small son in tow, is on the run from a bad marriage. This group of Southern misfits manage to forge a kind of family. Martin spins a heart breaking and engaging story about healing and the triumph of love.
About the Author: Martin married his wife Christy in 1993. To quote Martin, "If you include dating, I've known and loved her for more than half my life. She is and always will be the home for my heart." The couple has three boys. Charlie, John T. and Rives. They range in age from 12 to 7. Martin tells that "folks often ask me, which of my books do I like the best. You might as well line up my sons and ask me who I love the most."
My Thoughts: I loved the Southern feel of the story, but it took me several pages to become invested in the tale itself. Once I was hooked I did not want to see it end. "Wrapped In Rain" definitely is a powerful book. It is extremely emotionally charged and a page turner. As a teacher it really saddened me to read about Tucker and Mutt's childhood. The reality of having a rich and alcoholic father broke my heart and made me wish they had no father at all. Miss Ella Rain was their salvation and a good woman who gave up her own life to raise the two boys, as best as she could. Martin is a master with word play. I would definitely give this book a 4 star rating.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishing Co. as part of their Book Sneeze blogging review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."