by Charles Martin
Genres: faith based fiction
"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."An internationally famous photographer, he has traveled the world and seen both the serious and the strange. But when his brother escapes from a mental hospital and an old girlfriend appears with her son and a black eye, Tucker is forced to return home and face the agony of his own tragic past. Back in rural Alabama, Tucker comes to terms with the ghosts he left behind. Miss Ella Rain once loved Tuck and his brother like they were her very own. Hiring her to take care of Waverly Hall and to keep them out of sight was the only good thing their father ever did. And though Miss Ella has been gone for many years, Tuck can still hear her voice.
Some books leave their mark on the reader and this one touched me. When I first started reading, Martin’s imagery captivated me. The story, places and people came to life with each word I read. Wrapped in Rain focuses on the turbulent childhoods of Tucker and Mutt Mason. It is a poignant look at a childhood, steeped in violence, and the woman who helped them through it. Tucker’s story is told in first person and Mutt’s in third. Martin does a great job of breaking these into chapters, so that the reader is never lost. The novel reflects on the boys now and on key moments in their past. Martin takes the reader on an emotional, thought provoking ride while delivering a message of love, hope and man’s ability to overcome.
Tucker and Mutt are the sons of Rex Mason, a man who can turn a dime into gold. He drinks excessively, and often turns to violence. Rex takes it out on his sons and their housekeeper/caretaker, a black woman named Miss Ella. While he spends most of his time in Atlanta, when he comes home (Waverly Hall) it is a time of great fear for the boys and Miss Ella.
I fell in love with each of the characters. Events in their childhood forever change them. I felt their pain, shared in their joy and just wanted to hug them.
Miss Ella is a wise woman, blessed by her love for the lord. She loves the boys as if they were her own. She tries to protect them, and empower them to become better men than their father. She deeply touches all those around her. Tucker has the weight of the world on his shoulders. He is such a good man, but lives in fear of becoming his father. Despite all of his success, the little boy inside him wants his Daddy’s approval. Mutt is a troubled soul. He has spent the last seven years in a mental institute dealing with the voices in his head. I truly loved him and found myself rooting for him every step of the way.
Katie, Mutt and Tucker’s childhood friend returns to Waverly Hall, escaping a bad marriage. She arrives with Jase, her five year old son. Each has a profound effect on the boys. Katie, despite her own trials in life, is able to help the boys move forward. Through Jase, Tucker is able to see himself and what could have been.
>Wrapped in Rain isn’t the kind of book you read in a day. It’s meant to be read slowly, digested, and savored. The wisdom of Miss Ella will stay with me forever. I love it when a book touches me and Wrapped in Rain did just that. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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