Another recent book finish, Wrapped in Rain by Charles Martin, is a beautifully written story. It will tug at your heart strings as you laugh, cry and shake your head. Brothers Tucker and Mutt Mason grew up in rural Alabama with a cruel, abusive, alcoholic father who was far more concerned with making money than paying any attention to them. Their only mother-figure was their black housekeeper, Miss Ella Rain, the middle aged childless widowed granddaughter of a slave. Despite suffering frequent beatings at the hands of their father, and a minimum wage salary, Miss Rain sacrificed her own life to ensure the safety and proper upbringing of the boys, and loved them as if they were her own.
Years later, Tucker, now an internationally famous photographer, returns home to the large southern estate where he grew up, to find that his brother Mutt has escaped from the mental hospital where he has been living. He must decide whether or not to place Mutt in a more secure facility. When an old girlfriend shows up with a black eye and a young son in tow, Tucker feels he must stick around and try to come to terms with his painful past, while dealing with the present challenges. Can he forgive his father? Can he help his schizophrenic brother Mutt calm his obsessive fears and the voices in his head? Although Miss Ella is long gone, Tucker can still hear her guiding voice, telling him what is right and wrong. Can she somehow help him find forgiveness and peace at last?
This is the first book by New York Times best-selling author Martin I have read (but it won't be the last.) His strength is his descriptive writing. His characters are detailed and vivid, and you as the reader feel as if you know them intimately; you can't help but care about them. They stay with you long after you've read the final page...
"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." ~ Charles Martin, Wrapped in Rain