The Coming of Rain Author:Richard Marius "This wonderfully rich novel--a combination of mystery, violent conflict, and comic romance overlying a remarkable re-creation of a time and place--marks the debut of a new novelist who has to an extraordinary degree all the gifts of the natural and generous storyteller." — ________________ — "The place is Bourbonville, Tennessee, in the 1880's--i... more »n the grip of unbearable drought, just after a horrifying murder (the town brings the children and a picnic lunch to the hanging). But the real mystery and violence that hang over Bourbonville have to do with the past--with the War and its terrible, dividing aftermath. The center on the family of young Sam Beckwith: on his aristocratic mother, who is, for the town, a symbol of the purest Southern womanhood; on his father, who drifted in Bourbonville after the Defeat and stayed on to marry Sam's mother and, suddenly, die; on young Sam himself and the beautiful German girl, Emily, whose 'unsuitable' presence in the Beckwith pantheon his mother is determined to exorcise.
"Around this family a tremendous cast of characters is caught up in the Beckwith (and Bourbonville) drama--among them a fanatical, sexually haunted preacher; the bitter and disappointed town lawyer; and ex-slave father and son. And, in counterpoint to the agony of these men still caught up in the past, the jubilant romance of the Widow Weaver (she needs a man to tend her farm and rear her batch of small boys) and Brian Ledbetter, one-legged veteran of the detested Union Army.
"As Sam, in search of the truth about his father, and of the path he himself must take, moves among these people, as the mystery that hovers over their lives is gradually unraveled, as the seductive lure of the past is pitted against the hazards and demands of living in the present, Richard Marius's remarkable gifts--narrative power and invention, the ability to create people and place--come superbly together in THE COMING OF RAIN."« less