The Sound of Rain

Written by Sarah Loudin Thomas
Review by Susan Higginbotham

Traumatized by a mining accident that put him in the hospital and killed his brother, Judd Markley abandons the hills of West Virginia for Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The resort town is booming in 1954, and Judd lands a job at Waccamaw Timber before he even gets off his Greyhound bus.

Quickly settling into his new life, Judd soon catches the eye of his boss’s daughter, Larkin Heyward. But while the two are attracted to each other, and Mr. Heyward is surprisingly receptive to their romance, Larkin has her own plans. Despite her father’s disapproval, she longs to follow her brother’s example and do missionary work in Appalachia, a place she knows of only secondhand. Meanwhile, Judd is puzzled by his new acquaintance, Pete, who bears a deep grudge against Judd’s employer.

Set amid the devastation of Hurricane Hazel and its aftermath, The Sound of Rain has likeable, well-rounded protagonists and a supporting cast that is worthy of its Southern setting. The dialogue is well done, reflecting the characters’ different backgrounds while avoiding the hazards dialect often poses. Although this novel is aimed at the Christian fiction market, general readers will likely enjoy it as well.