Saturday, August 11, 2012

Dry as Rain by Gina Holmes

Central Wisconsin, like much of the Midwest, is in the midst of a record=breaking drought. Only recently have we received needed rains; and for some farms and gardens, it is too little and too late. As I ran from my car to a building during a recent rain shower, a 80 year old friend said to me, “ Isn’t this rain wonderful? Don’t you just want to stand in it and soak it up?” That joyous recognition of rain’s true importance amidst the driest of dry times is the idea behind Dry as Rain, Gina Holme’s new contemporary novel. Eric and his wife, Kyra, began married life deeply and passionately in love, but now twenty years later, divorce seems inevitable. As Eric became more obsessed with his job, Kyra became more distant and cold. As Kyra become more distant and cold, Eric became more flirtatious with other women which fueled Kyra’s jealousy. When she discovers an email to Eric’s young female co-worker, Kyra asks her husband to leave.


It is at that point the novel begins. Eric is bunking with his buddy Larry and is sure that divorce is the next step. Still placing primary blame for the situation on his wife, he crosses the line with a one night stand, regretting it as soon as he wakes. He has finally done what his wife always believed he was capable of doing. Ironically, within hours he receives a telephone call from a doctor that miraculously gives him a second chance, appearing almost like an oasis in the desert. Kyra has suffered a concussion in a car accident which has left her memory impaired. At the accident scene, she mistakenly believed her husband was dead and was overwrought. When medical professionals could show that he was alive and not even at the scene, she calmed down. However, according to the doctor, she now seems consumed with the notion that she and Eric are deeply in love, living a most perfect life. Since she has no physical injuries, Eric needs to get his wife and care for her until her memory returns. Eric is a mix of emotions. Has he been given a second chance with his wife? Certainly she will learn of the one night stand and the charade will be over. His friend Larry suggests that he come clean immediately and confess it, but Eric can’t do that. Instead he clings to each day that his wife believes he is the loving, caring husband that he should have been all along. At the same time, he cannot stop himself from partially revealing to Kyra that she has been distant and cold for years.

Dry as Rain was a finalist for the 2012 Christy Award for Standalone Contemporary Fiction and is a good example of Christian fiction that moves beyond the safe preconceived boundaries of plot and character. Told from Eric’s point of view, we see a man who believed he was a Christian, but has done nothing for years to live that way. Instead he has armed himself with a myriad of excuses for his appalling behavior and thoughts. After his wife’s accident, he wants to start over, but only on his terms, sure that any confession and remorse on his part would again plunge his wife into divorcing him. Two side stories add depth to the novel. One is Eric’s relationship with his long-time friend Larry and the other is Eric’s role in his 19 year old son’s life. This is not a novel of cute little towns with church committees and teas; it is a realistically drawn look at a marriage destroyed not just by infidelity, but by a succession of decisions to not be loving and supportive. It is a dark tunnel, or if you will, a drought. Some may ask , “Is there a light at the end?” Others may ask, “Is there a saving rain?” I recommend reading it for your own answer.

I checked Dry as Rain out from the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium for my nook. Right now I would rank it as one of the best Christian fiction books I’ve read this summer, a nice break from romances and historical fiction.  I would also recommend Gina Holmes' earlier book Crossing Oceans.  Check out her website for more information about her books including discussion questions and the author's insights.

3 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this thoughtful review. Glad you enjoyed it. My next novel, Wings of Glass releases in March and is my favorite so far. Another tough subject--domestic abuse. Thanks again. :)

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  2. Hi Sue. I found you from your reply on my blog, Melissa's Corner Book Nook (www.melissascornerbooknook.com). I read Dry as Rain. I would agree that Dry as Rain is a good book whether or not you like the main character or not. He is imperfect just like the rest of us.

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