Send Down the Rain: New from the author of The Mountain Between Us and the New York Times bestseller Where the River Ends

Send Down the Rain: New from the author of The Mountain Between Us and the New York Times bestseller Where the River Ends

by Charles Martin


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Send Down the Rain: New from the author of The Mountain Between Us and the New York Times bestseller Where the River Ends by Charles Martin

"Martin's latest is another beautifully written winner. . . Amazingly heartfelt statements about love, loss and the true meaning of friendship will resonate deeply with readers." --RT Book Reviews

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Mountain Between Us comes a new, spellbinding story of buried secrets, lost love, and the promise of second chances.

Allie is still recovering from the loss of her family’s beloved waterfront restaurant on Florida’s Gulf Coast when she loses her second husband to a terrifying highway accident. Devastated and losing hope, she shudders to contemplate the future—until a cherished person from her past returns.

Joseph has been adrift for many years, wounded in both body and spirit and unable to come to terms with the trauma of his Vietnam War experiences. Just as he resolves to abandon his search for peace and live alone at a remote cabin in the Carolina mountains, he discovers a mother and her two small children lost in the forest. A man of character and strength, he instinctively steps in to help them get back to their home in Florida. There he will return to his own hometown—and witness the accident that launches a bittersweet reunion with his childhood sweetheart, Allie.

When Joseph offers to help Allie rebuild her restaurant, it seems the flame may reignite—until a 45-year-old secret from the past begins to emerge, threatening to destroy all hope for their second chance at love.

In Send Down the Rain, Charles Martin proves himself to be a storyteller of great wisdom and compassion who bears witness to the dreams we cherish, the struggles we face, and the courage we must summon when life seems to threaten what we hold most dear.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780718084745
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 05/08/2018
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 19,598
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Charles Martin is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of thirteen novels. He and his wife, Christy, live in Jacksonville, Florida. Learn more about him at; Facebook: Author.Charles.Martin; Twitter: @storiedcareer.

Read an Excerpt



Witnesses say the phone call occurred around seven p.m. and the exchange was heated. While the man seated at the truck stop diner was calm and his voice low, the woman's voice on the other end was not. Though unseen, she was screaming loudly, and stuff could be heard breaking in the background. Seven of the nine people in the diner, including the waitress, say Jake Gibson made several attempts to reason with her, but she cut him off at every turn. He would listen, nod, adjust his oiled ball cap, and try to get a word in edgewise.

"Allie ... Baby, I know, but ... If you'll just let me ... I'm sorry, but ... I've been driving for forty-two hours ... I'm ..." He rubbed his face and eyes. "Dead on my feet." A minute or two passed while he hunkered over the phone, trying to muffle the sound of her incoherent babbling. "I know it's a big deal and you've put a lot of work into ..." Another pause. More nodding. Another rub of his eyes. "Invitations ... decorations ... lights. Yes, I remember how much you paid for the band. But ..." At this point, he took off his hat and rubbed his bald head. "I got rerouted at Flagstaff and it just plain took the starch out of me." He closed his eyes. "Baby, I just can't get there. Not tonight. I'll cook you some eggs in the morn —"

It was more of the same. Nothing had changed.

Allie Gibson wasn't listening anyway. She was screaming. At the top of her lungs. With their marriage on the rocks, they'd taken a "break." Six months. He moved out, living in the cab of his truck. Crisscrossing the country. But the time and distance had been good for them. She'd softened. Lost weight. Pilates. Bought new lingerie. To remind him. This was to be both his birthday and welcome home party. Along with a little let's-start-over thrown in.

The diner was small, and Jake grew more embarrassed. He held the phone away from his ear, waiting for her to finish. Allie was his first marriage. Ten years in and counting. He was her second. Her neighbors had tried to warn him. They spoke in hushed tones. "The other guy left for a reason." The inflection of their voice emphasized the word reason.

Jake didn't get to tell her good-bye. She spewed one last volley of venom and slammed the phone into the cradle. When the phone fell quiet, he sat awkwardly waiting. Wondering if she would pick back up. She did not. The waitress appeared with a pot of coffee and a hungry eye. He wasn't bad looking. Not really a tall drink of water, but she'd seen worse. Far worse. The kindness in his face was inviting, and judging by the appearance of his boots and hands, he didn't mind hard work. She'd take Allie's place in a heartbeat.

"More coffee, baby?" She said coffee like caw-fee. Before he could speak, the obnoxious beeping sounded from the phone's earpiece, telling him Allie had hung up a while ago. Furthering his embarrassment. He whispered to anyone who would listen, "I'm sorry," then stood, reached over the counter, hung up the phone, and quietly thanked the waitress.

Leaving his steak uneaten, he refilled his coffee thermos, left a twenty on the table to pay his seven-dollar bill, and slipped out quietly, tipping his hat to an older couple who'd just walked in. He walked out accompanied by the signature tap of his walking cane on concrete — a shrapnel wound that had never healed.

He gassed up his truck and paid for his diesel at the register, along with four packs of NoDoz, then went into the restroom and splashed cold water on his face. The police, watching the diner video surveillance some forty-eight hours later, would watch in silence as Jake did twenty jumping jacks and just as many push-ups before he climbed up into his cab. In the last two and a half days, he had driven from Arizona to Texas and finally to Mississippi, where he'd picked up a tanker of fuel en route to Miami. He had tried to make it home for his sixtieth birthday party, but his body just gave out. Each eyelid weighed a thousand pounds. With little more than a hundred miles to go, he'd called to tell Allie that he'd already fallen asleep twice and he was sorry he couldn't push through.

She had not taken the news well.

He eyed the motel but her echo was still ringing. He knew his absence would sting her.

So amiable Jake Gibson climbed up and put the hammer down. It would be his last time.

Jake made his way south to Highway 98. Hugged the coastline, eventually passing through Mexico Beach en route to Apalachicola.

At Highway 30E he turned west. Seven miles to the cradle of Allie's arms. He wound up the eighteen-wheeler and shifted through each of the ten gears. Though he'd driven the road hundreds of times, no one really knows why he was going so fast or why he ignored the flashing yellow lights and seven sets of speed ripples across the narrow road. Anyone with his experience knew that a rig going that fast with that much mass and inertia could never make the turn. State highway patrol estimated the tanker was traveling in excess of a hundred and ten when 30E made its hard right heading north. It is here, at the narrowest point of the peninsula, where the road comes closest to the ocean. To separate the two, highway crews had amassed mounds of Volkswagen-sized granite rocks just to the left of the highway. Hundreds of boulders, each weighing several tons, stacked at jagged angles, one on top of another, stood thirty feet wide and some twenty feet high. An impenetrable wall to prevent the Gulf from encroaching on the road and those on the road from venturing into the ocean. "The rocks" was a favorite locale for lovers sipping wine. Hand in hand they'd scale the boulders and perch with the pelicans while the sun dropped off the side of the earth and bled crimson into the Gulf.

The Great Wall of Cape San Blas had survived many a hurricane and hundreds of thousands of tourists walking its beach.

No one really knows when Jake Gibson fell asleep. Only that he did. Just before ten p.m. the Peterbilt T-boned the wall, pile-driving the nose of the rig into the rocks with all the steam and energy of the Titanic. When the rocks ripped open the tanker just a few feet behind Jake, the explosion was heard and felt thirty miles away in Apalachicola, and the flash was seen as far away as Tallahassee — a hundred miles distant. Alarms sounded and fire crews and law enforcement personnel were dispatched, but given the heat they were relegated to shutting down the highway from eight football fields away. No one in or out. All they could do was watch it burn.

Allie was sitting on the floor of a bathroom stall hunkered over a fifth of Jack. Tearstained and tear-strained. From three miles away she saw the flash off the white subway tile wall. When she saw the fireball, she knew.

The several-thousand-degree heat was so intense that Allie — along with all the partygoers — were forced to stand outside the half-mile barrier and helplessly inhale the smell of burning rubber. They did this throughout the night. By early morning the fire had spent its fury, allowing the water trucks to move in. By then not much was left. A few steel beams. One wheel had been blown off and rolled a quarter mile into the marsh. The back end of the tank looked like a soda can ripped in two. At the blast site, the only thing that remained was a scorched spot on the highway.

Closed-circuit television cameras positioned on the flashing light poles a mile before the curve recorded Jake at the wheel. Facial recognition software, as well as Allie's own viewing of the recording, proved that faithful Jake Gibson with his characteristic oiled ball cap was driving the truck and shifting gears as it ventured north on 30E.

No part of Jake Gibson was ever found.

Not a belt buckle. Not a heel of his boot. Not his titanium watch. Not his platinum wedding ring. Not his teeth. Not the bronzed head of his walking cane. Like much of the truck, Jake had been vaporized. The horrific nature of his death led to a lot of speculating. Theories abounded. The most commonly believed was that Jake fell asleep long before the turn, slumping forward, thereby pressing his bad leg and portly weight forward. This is their only justification for the unjustifiable speed. Second is the suggestion that four days of caffeine overdosing exploded Jake's heart and he was dead long before the turn — also causing him to slump forward. The least whispered but still quite possible was the notion that Jake had an aneurysm, thereby producing the same result. No one really knows. All they knew with certainty was that he went out with a bang so violent that it registered on military satellites, bringing in the Department of Defense and Homeland Security, who both raised eyebrows at the enormity of the blast area. "Shame."

With the site surrounded in yellow tape and flashing lights, it was still too hot to approach. Firemen said it'd take a week to cool off the core and allow anyone near the blast site. Onlookers shook their heads, thought of Allie, and muttered in their best backstabbing whisper, "That woman is cursed. Everything she touches dies."

Rescue and coast guard crews searched the ocean and the shoreline throughout the night. They thought maybe if Jake had been thrown through the windshield at that speed, his body would have shot out across the rocks and into the ocean on the other side, where there's a known rip tide. If so, he'd have been sucked out to sea.

Like everything else, the search turned up nothing. And like everything else, each failed search reinforced the excruciating notion that Jake died a horrible, painful death.

The weight of this on Allie was crushing. Jake, the affable husband who simply worked hard enough to put food on the table and laughter in his wife's heart, was not coming back. Ever. The last year or two or even three had not been easy. He had worked more than he'd been at home, staying gone weeks at a time, months even. Allie knew what people thought ... that she was just tough to live with.

She was left to plan the funeral and decide what to put in the box. But every time she tried to tell his memory that she was sorry, she was met with the haunting and deafening echo that the final three words she spoke to Jake were not "I love you." Instead, her last words to him had been spoken in a spit-filled tirade of anger.

And for those words, there was no remedy.


Five hundred sixty-five miles northeast of Cape San Blas on the shoulders of Mount Mitchell in North Carolina, Juan Pedro Perez lit a cigarette. His knuckles were scarred, as was his forehead, and beneath his shirt were twenty more. He had long prized his ability with a knife, but his education came at a cost. Born in Juarez, he'd first walked across the border when he was six, and most of that distance he'd carried his sister. Now thirty, he'd lost count of his crossings. Raised in the fields, and tired of endless hours in the sun and countless unmet expectations, he'd robbed a border farmer, taken his gun, and learned to use it. Soon, he was hiring it out. A drug runner with a guerrilla fighter's pedigree. Such talent and disregard got him noticed. Those atop the food chain took him under their wing, making him well connected. While hunted, he was also protected. Pretty soon he brokered his own power.

He sat in the front seat of an old flatbed Ford, left hand loosely cupped over his mouth, cheeks drawn, eyes dark and cold. Cigarette smoke exited his nose and trailed up and out the car window. He spun the brass Zippo lighter on his right thigh. With every spin he'd flip it open, flick it lit, then slam it shut. Spin it again, repeat. The woman next to him in the front seat didn't watch the lighter so much as the hand that held it.

Catalina was twenty-eight — or so she thought. The two had met, oddly enough, at church. She was attending her husband's funeral while Juan Pedro was running a load and using the church as both a cover and a safe haven. She had no idea. Diego, her husband of five years, had been a good man and she had loved him. They married when she was eighteen and he twenty-eight. He was a dentist, and given his honesty, underinflated prices, and twenty-four-hour house calls, he had a lot of patients but little money.

Juan Pedro stared at her long dress and beautiful black eyes, then at the simple wooden box that held her husband. He pointed north, toward the border. "America?"

She looked at her two children, who were looking blankly at the box. Then she looked at the hell spread around her and figured it couldn't get any worse.

She had been way bad wrong.

Five years later, she had America, an oil-leaking, mufflerless truck for a home, and Juan Pedro's pistol for a pillow. His process was consistent — he would drive her and the kids to a community ripe for harvest, drop them at a shack, and disappear for weeks or months while a couple of his lieutenants kept an eye on them until he reappeared without warning, flush with cash and half a bottle of tequila. Thus far she'd lived in Texas, New Mexico, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, South and North Carolina. She'd seen him in two dozen angry and bloody knife fights. He liked to stand over the other men as they quivered and bled out. A sly smile. His blade dripping. His weapon of choice was a Dexter-Russell six-inch skinning knife. A butcher's knife. He'd first learned to use it at the meat-packing houses. Curved blade. Wooden handle. Carbon steel. Razor sharp. If his pistol was close, that blade was closer.

The first two times she'd tried to escape had not gone well. It took her nearly a month to be able to take a deep breath. The third time he almost killed her while the two children watched. Had it been just her, she'd have closed her eyes and let Diego welcome her home, but the terror in her children's eyes proved too much. So she pulled herself off the floor and yielded. Even now her left eye was still blurry from the impact.

Juan Pedro didn't like her children. He didn't like any children. As long as they weren't much trouble or expense he would let her keep them around, but Catalina knew time was running short. In his world, evil people bought children, and she suspected that Juan Pedro had already collected the deposit.

Diego was ten. Cropped jet-black hair. Black-rimmed glasses with lenses on the thick side. Square jaw. The gentleness in his eyes favored his father. He sat cross-legged in the back seat, a coverless Louis L'Amour paperback in his hand, silently biting his bottom lip, about to pee in his pants. In public he called Juan Pedro Papa. In private, he didn't call him at all.

Gabriela was eight. Long black hair hanging in matted knots below her shoulders. Her skin was dirty; it'd been three weeks since she'd had a bath, and she had a rash she didn't want to talk about. She sat on her heels, silently biting her top lip and about to scratch her skin off.

In addition to the shiny pistol just below his belly button, Juan Pedro kept a revolver at the base of his back. A third handgun was taped below the front seat, a fourth wedged up behind the dash. Two shotguns lay across the floorboard of the back seat, and three automatic weapons were stashed beneath the kids' seat. Behind them, the bed of the truck had been built with a false floor containing several thousand rounds of ammunition and cash. While Juan Pedro was hated and wanted by many, he was not stupid, and if he was going out, it would be in a blaze of glory.

The temperature hovered in the thirties. Catalina stared out the window as the freezing rain stuck to the windshield. They had driven through the night. And the night before. There would be no harvest in this weather, but she dared not state the obvious. Juan Pedro had been sent either to pick up or drop off. Their life had become a series of aimless destinations.

She placed her hand gently on his forearm and whispered, "Juan, the kids no have clothes for this." He looked at her out of the corner of his eye, then at the back seat, where Gabriela had started to shiver. He cranked the engine, flicked his cigarette butt out the window, and dropped the stick into drive. Catalina whispered again. "Diego has to go."

Juan Pedro glanced in the rearview in disapproval. He believed the boy to be soft, so he was toughening him up a bit. He eased into Spruce Pine and pulled over at the Blue Ridge Thrift Store. He slid a roll of hundreds from his front pocket and thumbed through the wad until he found a twenty. He handed it to Catalina and nodded toward the door. When she motioned for the kids to follow, he extended his arm and shook his head once. The kids didn't move.

Catalina quickly found two matching used men's down jackets and two pairs of ladies' fleece sweat pants. They were too big and too long, but the kids could roll them up. She laid the bundle quietly on the counter, and the clerk, whose name tag identified her as Myrtle, rang up the order.

"Twenty-nine dollars and ninety-six cents."


Excerpted from "Send Down the Rain"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Charles Martin.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Send Down the Rain: New from the author of The Mountain Between Us and the New York Times bestseller Where the River Ends 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Martin has the uncanny ability to weave a plot that challenges the reader's mind, captures their emotions, and keeps them turning the pages despite issues with sleep deprivation and early morning work hours. Simultaneously, he artistically creates characters derived out of realism. You see your brother in one character, an old work acquaintance in another, and even yourself in at least one. It is impossible to read his works without making real-life connections. It is, however, the epitome of talent that causes a reader to finish a book and not only be challenged but determined to become a better person. Martin has this kind of talent. I have read all of his books, and I have never been disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely wonderful ????
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Vietnam war did horrible things to the minds and hearts of our veterans. The way he described his homecoming was exactly the way my husband explained his and fellow veterans also were treated. Joseph was a perfect example of giving so much of himself to survive that time, but still being able to move beyond survival mode to what was always in his heart - love. He used his love to save so many others, including himself. I loved his dog too! Typical great story from Charles Martin. I can’t wait till he pens the next one.
Anonymous 14 days ago
Every book that Charles Martin has written is awesome. Each book keeps your interest & you cannot put it down until you finish the last word.
Anonymous 17 days ago
WONDERFUL, i love stories of Remdeption and Hope
Anonymous 3 months ago
I have read 10 books by Charles Martin , all of them great, this one Send Down The Rain was outstanding, it gripped my heart like no other, i will never forget it. Aky
millstreetreader 6 months ago
To what lengths will a child go to protect his brother? How long will the pain of a father's abandonment live on into adulthood? Can love survive when a person is continually surrounded by violence and evil? Can it push aside a past darkened with betrayal, hatred, and self-loathing? Charles Martin, the masterful story teller, perhaps best known for his novel THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US tackles these questions and more in his newest novel SEND DOWN THE RAIN. Sixty-something Joseph has been keeping a low profile -- hiding from his past, enduring the night terrors and sweats, with only his stray dog and a voice on the radio to comfort him. Then two events happen almost simultaneously that rip open his heart and pull him back into a life he believed had long ago been taken from him. As in his other novels, Martin provides new plot twists and unexpected side stories at almost every juncture. While each may add something to the book, as a whole I think in this novel they were overwhelming, forcing me to read ahead, expecting to be surprised by another "turn" rather than slowing down and sinking into the actual message of the story. At some point, it began to feel like one of those campfire stories we tell with our kids and grandkids - with each person at some point taking over the story and taking it on a new path. Of course, Martin does a much better job of keeping everything unified, but still I felt a bit overwhelmed by the action at times. Still SEND DOWN THE RAIN should appeal to a wide array of readers. Joseph's Vietnam past and its traumatizing after effects should draw in male readers. Of course, the love story that survives decades of pain and loneliness will bring in romance readers. Clearly, Joseph's sacrificial life has religious overtones. Personally I was drawn in by the young immigrant mother and her children who are rescued early in the book. I received an e-copy of this title from Netgalley and all opinions are mine. I was not required to write a review.
NicolePetrino-Salter 7 months ago
A time to . . . Send Down The Rain Nobody does broken like Charles Martin. And in his latest Send Down The Rain, there is plenty of brokenness. I've said before that I was late to the Charles Martin reading party, but now I know for me that's a good thing. His novels tear at the soul, make sadness and pain palpable, heavy, to the point of tasting it. Can't stop reading the story even as it filets the heart. Characters come alive on the pages and sear our souls with their sorrows. Joseph "Jo Jo" Brooks makes an enormous sacrifice that only he, his brother, and his mother know about. The secret remains hidden until the one person who can in Jo Jo's mind reveal it steps up to do just that. Joseph Brooks rescues and adopts a dog and a desperate small family and continues to wonder about the only girl (Allie) he's ever loved over 40 years ago. At night he listens to the sultry voice of Suzy True on the radio who talks with veterans like him of the Viet Nam war where she lost her father. When Jo Jo decides to check in on that girl he loved and lost, her husband's life has just ended in a fiery tanker crash, and there's no one she needs more than Jo Jo. Send Down The Rain is a story of broken people trying to find a way back to "good", of fear and loathing that strafed the hearts and souls of young and older, of wounds carried through years of anguish, of hopes up in flames, of raw hatred and devastating betrayal, cavernous pain and shattered dreams. But then . . . This novel is classic Charles Martin. Beautiful and symbolic prose, lifelike characters who deeply hurt, and a story that weaves people together in a modern art painting that meshes into impressionist but ends up with the distinctions of a real life photograph. Send Down The Rain is worth every moment it takes to read and every tear that is sure to fall.
Anonymous 9 months ago
I was looking for a good book to read and I found it.
Kimberly_Gambo 10 months ago
Once again, Charles Martin has given us a story that brings faith and hope back into our everyday lives. SEND DOWN THE RAIN is about humanity's weak spots, our frailty as individuals, and exposes the faith that brings us all back to the inherit goodness that lies within each and every one of us, if we take the time to look for it. Charles, you've done it again. And I thank you.
granny-1 10 months ago
I don't know how he does it, but Charles Martin takes a subject and tells you a story that makes you feel as if you're there, and he won't let you go until the story is finished. In other words, please allow a day with nothing else to do but read!! His characters are so real, their stories so believable, that you'll feel you've witnessed it all. Thank you Charles Martin for a fantastic read.
bookstoregal 10 months ago
Another Charles Martin book! Filled with highs and lows, it takes you on a emotional roller coaster. :) As usual, he deals with some tough issues, sometimes with no easy answers. Several unexpected twists and turns in this book. Good characters. Some you love and cheer for. Others you love to hate. I have read most of his books, so I know they are not normally overtly "Christian", even though I think he is a Christian, but I do wish that in this one he had said just a little something more about that little book... In my opinion, this book is definitely worth the read! Thanks, Fiction Guild, for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!! The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
amybooksy 10 months ago
Send Down the Rain is a wonderful read. It is probably my new favorite that I have read by Charles Martin. The characters are true to life to me and I felt like I knew them and understood them. A beautiful story of healing, hope, and faith. I believe many readers will be inspired by Send Down the Rain. I give it 5+ stars. Highly recommended for readers who are wanting to discover the truth with themselves.
RubieLee 10 months ago
Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin was a risk I am so glad I took! This novel is far outside of my normal reading genre of historical fiction.  I chose to read it based on the fact that Martin is the author of The Mountain Between Us.  I enjoyed the turmoil and intense relationship between the characters in the movie and figured I would give this novel a try. Send Down the Rain did not disappoint!  The central character in Send Down the Rain is Joseph, Vietnam Vet who has spent most of his life in anguish.  He has lost everything including the love of his life. This story is riveting, fast-paced, action-packed, and a page turner! It is also centered on a life long unrequited love story.  If you are looking for a novel to hold your interest this summer, Send Down the Rain is your book! If you are in a reading slump (happens to the most devout book lover), this is your book!  I truly enjoyed Charles Martin's new title Send Down the Rain. I requested a copy from BookLookBloggers in search of a new favorite author and I feel as though i was successful. I was not required to give this title a positive review. All opinions and enthusiasm are my own. 
RubieLee 10 months ago
Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin was a risk I am so glad I took! This novel is far outside of my normal reading genre of historical fiction.  I chose to read it based on the fact that Martin is the author of The Mountain Between Us.  I enjoyed the turmoil and intense relationship between the characters in the movie and figured I would give this novel a try. Send Down the Rain did not disappoint!  The central character in Send Down the Rain is Joseph, Vietnam Vet who has spent most of his life in anguish.  He has lost everything including the love of his life. This story is riveting, fast-paced, action-packed, and a page turner! It is also centered on a life long unrequited love story.  If you are looking for a novel to hold your interest this summer, Send Down the Rain is your book! If you are in a reading slump (happens to the most devout book lover), this is your book!  I truly enjoyed Charles Martin's new title Send Down the Rain. I requested a copy from BookLookBloggers in search of a new favorite author and I feel as though i was successful. I was not required to give this title a positive review. All opinions and enthusiasm are my own. 
Anonymous 10 months ago
Love every book charles martin has written!
Anonymous 11 months ago
You will not be able to put it down, be sure your calendar is clear. His best story to date, can't wait for the next one!
CRSK 11 months ago
One of the books I read near the end of last year was Charles Martin’s ’The Mountain Between Us’ which I enjoyed, and I’d had other books of his on my radar after reading some glowing reviews of his books, so when the opportunity arose to read his ‘Send Down the Rain’ I took it. The prologue shares the beginning of this story, through the eyes of Joseph, who is nine; his brother Bobby was eleven, and the day their father leaves, taking most everything that was his. When Bobby comes to share the news with Joseph, he brings a jug of milk and a package of Oreos. Comfort food. They ate their cookies, drinking out of the jug, sitting on the shore while the waves rolled up, stirring the breeze across their skin, trying to absorb the meaning of what had just happened. ”I made a fist, crushing a cookie. Grinding it to powder. When the pieces spilled out between my fingers onto the beach, a physical and very real pain pierced my chest. Fifty-three years later, it would stop.” Once upon a time, Joseph and Allie were young, with visions for the future despite the war raging, updates on the news every night. When Joseph left for Vietnam, he gave Allie his ’67 Corvette, with no strings. But years have passed since then, and the last time he was back home in Cape San Blas he walked in just in time to see his brother exchanging vows with Allie. One night, he finds himself helping a young mother and her two young children get to Florida, where they have relatives who can help them. And as he is on his way back to his childhood home, he spies the billowing smoke filling the air of a recent collision between an 18-wheeler with a full load of oil and a rock wall made out of boulders meant to resist the heavy winds and beating rains of hurricanes. Eventually, he will be told that the driver was the second husband of Allie. This is a tender story, filled alternately with heartbreak and love, with forgiveness offered, and received. A story of broken hearts, healing, and of the destructive nature of hate and war, and the healing force of love, and the healing power of redemption: at its heart, it is a re-imagining of the tale of The Prodigal Son. The stories of Vietnam are the background of this story, the story of Joseph’s battles there, and the ones he faces upon his return, the ones he continues to fight on his own these many years later. There is another background story of undocumented immigrants. All of these are woven together with the themes of this story into a lovingly told story of a love and a life that were lost, and a path to a new life and love found. Sometimes, as much as we want to let go of painful memories, we can’t seem to bring ourselves to let them go. Sometimes we have reasons that others would understand, but there are times that pain becomes an integral part of ourselves, and we become reluctant to let them go. Afraid of what comes after the letting go – will we just be empty, or will we for will we find a healthier way to fill those holes? Martin’s writing is somewhat unique in that he eschews profanity and doesn’t dwell on sex, but in this story he tackles some other issues including addiction, physical abuse, and PTSD, but nothing is overly graphic. There are some war scenes that include war-related events, but even these are shown without an abundance of details. I believe he has a large Christian following, which appreciate the uplifting, inspiring messages of his stories, but I think this story would appeal to all.
Anonymous 11 months ago
I’ve read every book Charles Martin has written....his When Crickets Cry was my favorite...until this one. Filled with sadness and hope and truth about the men and women who returned from Vietnam changed forever. So many windings of surprise and yet blended together so well. I’d have loved to know more about what happened to Jake and his lies....but the story is about Joseph...excellent!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great book. I’m not a writer, so I don’t have anything compelling to say. But, like all of his other books (read them all in les than a year), this story makes you dig deep into all your good and all your evil and leaves you with hope to overcome with the greatest of all, love. Keep them coming! (Please:)
Carolefort More than 1 year ago
Thank you to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for an advance e-copy of Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin in exchange for an honest review. I must admit that the first few chapters are quite baffling but the author soon knits them into his storyline and off we go with quite a book. Allie had inherited her Florida restaurant, the Blue Tornado, from her parents and, after two failed marriages, lost her life's work. Joseph, a Vietnam vet with too many tours of duty, has been a loner and drifter for most of his life due to all the emotional baggage that the war has left him with. Allie and Joseph had grown up together and there had always been love between the teenagers, till Joseph left for Vietnam. The book is basically about what happens when Allie and Joseph's paths collide, almost fifty years later. You will laugh and you will cry but, most of all, you will enjoy reading Send Down the Rain.
jdowell More than 1 year ago
Charles Martin has crafted a beautiful story of sacrifice, forgiveness, love and redemption. He is becoming one of my favorite authors very quickly. I've only read this one and The Mountain Between Us, but both have been exceptional reads for me. This story is about two brothers, Joseph and Bobby, whose father left their family when they were under ten years old. Their mother raised them as best she could. Joseph went off to Vietnam while Bobby ended up becoming a Senator. There is a secret buried deep in their past that no one knows. The background of the Vietnam War and Joseph's service there were heartbreaking and left innumerable scars on Joseph. He suffers from PTSD and has dealt with both abuse and addiction. This is also about Joseph and Allie who were inseparable growing up, but multiple things have kept them apart. Martin's writing will steal your heart. The story has been said to be a re-imagining of the tale of The Prodigal Son. I highly recommend this book! Many thanks to Charles Martin and Thomas Nelson - FICTION through Netgalley for an advance copy of this book.
joyful334209 More than 1 year ago
Send Down The Rain Is a story of P TSD, secrets, being in a loveless marriage and loss. Joseph is a Vietnam vet who has secluded himself from the woman he loved and the brother he loved. He finds a woman in the woods with a child running from - - Hey wait I can't tell you everything, you will be surprised thugh - believe you me. What does Joseph do? What about his brother and the woman he loves? Do things work out? I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley;; all of the opinions expressed in this review are all my own. if you would like to read more of my Christian book reviews go to - I look forward to seeing you there.
StacyTS More than 1 year ago
Charles Martin has a deft way of drawing you into his stories. They are expertly written and give you a hitch in your breath because you are emotionally invested in the characters he portrays. I have read all of his stories, and laughed, cried and been enthralled page after page. In this particular novel, he peels back the layers of a troubled war veterans life as well as his long-lost love and his less-than-perfect brother. He brings you to the edge of an emotion and can spin you in the opposite direction in the next paragraph. Charles Martin is a master in emotional, well-constructed literature writing. I'm a life-long fan and will be waiting to read the next phenomenal novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Charles Martin touch is at work again in this tale weaving together stories of family, sacrifice, PTSD, the Vietnam experience (and aftermath), illegal workers and so much more. As the stories of Jo-Jo, Allie, Catalina and others unfold and converge you taken on a journey through pain into hope and inspiration and transformation. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are my own. Book is available June 19th.