Title: After The Rain
Author: Renée Carlino
Daniela’s Rating: 3.5 stars
Renée Carlino is good at what she does. Scratch that. She’s amazing at what she does. From the moment I first read Sweet Thing, I fell in love with her writing style and the way she manages to create beautiful and relatable characters. She knows how to write from a girl’s point of view, but she certainly knows how to get inside the boy’s mind too, which I’m guessing is not an easy task. You know what I love most about her stories? They all have something you won’t ever forget. Either if it’s a character’s personality like Will’s, or a determined mine like Kate’s, or a meaningful relationship like Mat and Grace’s or a tragical yet beautiful story like Avelina’s, there’s always something you’ll remember from Renee’s books. She’s awesome like that.
“Forever is only now. Let’s enjoy it and not think about tomorrow.”
In After The Rain we have two different stories. First, there’s the story of a girl who’s always been led to believe she’s a healer. She can heal the heart from sorrow, and mend the broken pieces. But how can she believe that when she couldn’t even fix her mom after her father died? She couldn’t keep her with her. Avelina had to grow up fast. I’m not that much of a fan of taking rush decisions. I need to think and rethink the things I do before I do it, until I’m 150% sure. So, I don’t usually understand how people can jump into some decisions so quickly. Avelina had been struggling to find herself since her dad died, and she found something, or someone that saw in her what she couldn’t, and she believed him. So of course, they got married. Life is funny though, ore more like stupid, but you get what I mean. Avelina had everything she could’ve ever wanted, or so she thought. When tragedy knocks her off of her feet once more, she’s once again left to pick up all the pieces. But what if it’s becoming harder and harder to do that? What if she just doesn’t want to do that anymore? Why can’t she just give in?
Then, we have Nate Myers. Nate is a smart guy, who’s done everything to get where he is today. He’s a heart surgeon, the best heart surgeon. He’s dedicated his entire life to his studies and his work. He doesn’t need anything else. He knows how the heart functions and how to fix it. Except, you can’t really fix it if you’re not looking for the real problem, now can you? He now has to give a family the baddest news one could ever tell a parent, and has to face with the repercussions of his actions. So he’s sent away, to the ranch where he spent most of his childhood in Montana, to think about his life, to get his priorities straight.
Two completely different worlds collide when Nate arrives at that ranch. Two completely different people notice each other’s heartaches. Two completely different people find out that there’s more to live for, if you give yourself the time to acknowledge it.
“In all my years, I’ve learned that life delivers many storms for us to weather. Some will be slow, brooding, quiet beasts, and others will be loud, thunderous, and frightening. But if you’re willing to look close enough, no matter how devastating the storm may be, after the rain you’ll always find new life sprouting in the aftermath.”
Avelina is just a lost girl, trying to find her way to the place where she’s meant to be. She doesn’t know where that place is, and she’s not even sure she wants to find it. I guess, after experiencing so many bad things, it’s hard to believe you’re going to be able to pick yourself up. I guess it’s not easy, and that’s why I understood Avelina’s position. It was frustrating how people tended to just dismiss her life so easily. But it’s also not easy to see someone you care about give herself to emptiness so easily, either. I thought Avelina was strong, and she was just a girl, who’d faced way too many sadness in her life, but I don’t think she truly wanted to give up.
Now, Nate is just way too good. Yes, he had a cocky side that made him make a huge mistake, but we all have those moments. I loved that he was able to recognize where he did wrong and tried to mend it. He was able to recognize too the beauty of the world he was missing. He overcame his fears and let himself believe in something greater than him. I loved him from the moment he first showed up.
“I loved you, I love you now, but I’ll be able to go on. I know that I can. You taught me that. Not being with you is far from my dream, but like our hearts, dreams can be broken and repaired again. It’s hard for me not to wonder if I scared you away with all these letters. I hope not. I hope it just made you see how beautiful and amazing you are. I guess I’m realizing now that I just want you to be happy and safe. That’s the most I can hope for now. I brought some of your boxes here but I didn’t open”
When I first saw the cover of this book, it was like love at first sight. I mean, the color of the picture, the font, and the love it expresses, it got my attention, and after I read the blurb, I found it impossible to resist. I’ve had my copy for a while now, but I hadn’t gotten to read it until now. After I read the first page, I was pretty much hooked, and it was that kind of book you don’t to put down, because the characters are compelling, and more than that, the story draws you in. It had been a while since I had finished a book in a day, but this one broke that record. I read it pretty fast, because even though the story has its tragic side, it’s a light read. Every sad part has its counterpart that will have your heart beating and jumping and smiling.
I really liked this book. I can’t say it’s my favorite by Renée, because that place is occupied by Before We Were Strangers, but I enjoyed every single page of this story. The sadness each character has to face, and the little rays of happiness they get when they’re together, it filled my heart with joy. This story is the kind of story that makes you believe that something good has to come out of every situation. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, and we just have to trust and believe that things will be ok, in some way or another. And this book proves just that. Renée has a beautiful way of writing her stories. They’re all detailed and wonderful. I’ve enjoyed every single one of her books, and I highly recommend them 🙂
Buy link: Amazon