The Sweetest Rain, a new historical Catholic romance novel by Myra Johnson and published by Franciscan Media.
Set in Arkansas in 1930, The Sweetest Rain features an interesting cast of characters. Bryony Linwood lives with her grandfather and sisters on a tenant farm in the tiny town of Eden. Due to a drought, the farm is suffering and Bryony is determined to do whatever it takes to make sure her family survives. As a result, she ends up taking a job as a maid at the plantation owner's home.
The plantation owner, Mr. Heath, is a hard man (think Ebeneezer Scrooge) who kicked out his own daughter many years before, but his son Michael is a gentle, wounded soul suffering from shell-shock (what we would now call PTSD) after serving in World War I. Meanwhile, Mrs. Heath is suffering from dementia and is in need of constant care. The story also explores issues of racial inequality and the plantation system in the post-Civil War South.
The characters are well-developed and the plot is compelling and will keep you turning pages. I was also very impressed by the historical accuracy of the story, which Johnson explains in the "Author's Note."
The Sweetest Rain is a great addition to the Franciscan Media line of fiction. It will be enjoyed by anyone who relishes historical romance.