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She-Rain: A Story of Hope    by Michael Cogdill order for
by Michael Cogdill
Order:  USA  Can
Morgan James, 2010 (2010)

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* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Michael Cogdill's She-Rain: A Story of Hope is a well written, beautiful tale that will stay with you long after you turn the last page.

It is the early 1920's when we first meet young Frank Locke. He lives in the mountains of North Carolina, outside Marshal, on a farm with his parents and siblings. Life is a struggle to survive, and even harder for Frank with an abusive, drug addicted father. Frank leaves school at a young age to work in the local cotton mill alongside his mother. He falls in love with a childhood friend, Mary Lizbeth, and life seems a little brighter. After hearing of the sexual abuse Mary Lizbeth endured at the hands of her father, Frank dreams of a better life for them far away from Marshal.

Years later, a family tragedy has Frank on the run. He leaves home with only the clothes on his back, wanting to protect his mother. He hopes Mary Lizbeth will understand and forgive him when she hears he has left. On foot, deep in the wilderness, Frank's survival instincts kick in and keep him on the move. Falling from a ledge into a fast moving river, Frank is swept downstream and is rescued by Sophia, a young woman, steeped in mystery. Frank is taken to her home and is surprised by its opulence and beauty, deep in the middle of nowhere.

As the story unfolds, Frank and Sophia form a friendship and love that will last their lifetime. Frank tells Sophia why he is on the run, and Sophia explains why she wants Frank to stay on and help. Well educated, Sophia opens Frank up to a world he never knew existed. The mystery of Sophia's life is explained to Frank gradually over time and he is surprised to find out the identity of her parents and how she came to live with them. When Sophia moves on to claim her inheritance in New England, Frank must also move on and move forward with his life.

Told in true Southern style, She-Rain is the story of a love triangle - two women in love with the same man, and the power that love holds over them.

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