Book Review: The Boy Who Loved Rain

23 Mar

641292They say that what you don’t know can’t hurt you. They’re wrong.

Colom had the perfect childhood, the much-loved only child of a church pastor. Yet he wakes screaming from dreams in which his sister is drowning and he can’t save her.

Fiona turns to her husband, desperate to help their son. But David will not acknowledge that help is needed—and certainly not help from beyond the church.

Then they find the suicide pledge.

Fiona, in panic, takes Colom and flees… but when will she acknowledge that the unnamed demons Colom faces might be of her and David’s own creation?



51rPN7grZhL._UX250_Gerard Kelly is a writer, speaker and poet and a co-founder, with his wife Chrissie, of The Bless Network. Bless works alongside churches in the UK, France, The Netherlands, Croatia and Spain, empowering young people ‘to encounter the God of mission and find their place in the mission of God’. A member of the ‘Theme Group’ of Spring Harvest, Europe’s largest Christian teaching event and formerly Pastor of Crossroads International Church in Amsterdam, Gerard currently lives in Normandy, France, where he and Chrissie are developing a centre for missional formation.


My Impressions:

March has found me reading books with pretty heavy subjects. Four books involved abuse of one kind or another, with three involving children. You would think I would be pretty depressed by now, but all of the books have a Christian worldview and writers that care about the subject and their craft. The Boy Who Loved Rain by Gerard Kelly is a beautifully written novel that, while not an easy read, was nevertheless a page-turner and is one of the best books I have read this year.

Colom is a fourteen year old boy who may not live to see his next birthday. Filled with anger that seems to have no source, Colom and his parents struggle to get from one day to the next. After the suicide of one of Colom’s friends, Fiona, Colom’s mother, flees with him to the wild coast of Brittany to try to unearth the demons that torment her son. With the help of an old friend, the family comes to grips with long buried secrets and trauma.

The Boy Who Loved Rain is one of the best written books I have read. Its prose is lyrical and the story nuanced. Kelly uses third person narrative and first person reflections with great success. The relatable characters gradually disclose their fears, doubts and motivations as the story unfolds. Most of the book takes place on the Breton coast, a place wild with waves and weather which takes on its own personality and place in the story. Secrets designed for pride and self-preservation as well as protection are exposed for their destructive nature. Truth, no matter how ugly, is shown to be the only means to healing. The book does not have an overt faith message; many of the characters are either agnostics or tepid in their faith. But the untamed nature of a God bigger than our boxes is explored in a subtle manner. Each chapter is introduced with a fact or a quote featuring rain. While each foreshadows the action or mood of the chapter, it wasn’t until the end that I finally had the aha moment for them and the title (which is indeed very clever).

Because The Boy Who Loved Rain is a British novel, there were some things I had to look up. But I find that to be a plus. I like to be challenged and stretched now and again. 😉 And I now know what a Renault Espace is!

Moving, poetic, and riveting — The Boy Who Loved Rain is a highly recommended read.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Kregel and Lion Hudson for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine.)

To purchase this book, click HERE. It is currently 99 cents for Kindle!

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