Wednesday, March 24, 2010

She Rain By Michael Cogdill - A Beautiful Book

She-Rain Back Cover Synopsis:

In the early 20th Century, a pair of North Carolina mountain children sow the seed of a love that becomes their only solace in the hard yet beautiful world they know. They grow it from steep ground of poverty, ignorance, and violence. A landscape so brutal it can kill hope long before claiming life.

Bloodshed years later finally sends Frank Locke on the run, deep into wilderness, abandoning his extraordinary love, Mary Lizbeth. When a whitewater river washes this desperate soul into the hands of Sophia, he discovers a luminous woman steeped in mystery, trapped in a tragically brilliant life. Far ahead of her time. Secreted from the world. As she awakens Frank’s mind, they rise to meet a love that binds three people for a lifetime.

This love triangle forms a beauty no one sees coming. From the wilds of Appalachia, crossing nearly a century, it runs deep into a lush American fortune, and lives in letters of adoration and hope of the least expected.

In a rhapsody of Southern voices, mingling hilarity and sorrow, She-Rain speaks of lives soaring beyond heartbreak, fundamentalism, and self-destruction. Through the most graceful longing, two women in love with one man ultimately prove the power of human hearts to answer high callings. They show us all how to heal -- and thrive -- to the very end.

In A Nutshell: Amazing! Simply amazing. The beauty of the words force you to read them aloud. There aren't many books that do that to me. I felt the same way when I read White Orleander by Janet Finch. Michael write with such poetic prose that you must hear the words you are reading. At times, in the beginning chapters I had to remind myself that the main character is male because with the beautiful words and southern music I heard Dakota Fanning in character. It took me longer to read this book than most others that I review. I actually reviewed 3 others in between She Rain. I wanted to savor it, understand it, make it last and not rush through like the books I can devour in 2-3 days and barely remember it 3 books later.

The story centers around Frank Jr. who lives with his povertiy stricken parents including his abusive father. He has watched his father bloody his mother and has endured countless beatings. One day as a teenager his mother send him to town to pick his father up from jail. On the way home, he brings his father to an out of the way, abandoned area and points out a tombstone he made for him. It reads very simply; NOBODY where the name would be. As for the dates it simply says, Born: Somebody - Died - Manure.  His father never touches them again.

The story takes a turn when Frank and his Uncle "Useless" start fighting and his mother bludgeons Useless to death. Frank refuses to have his mother take the fall for the death so he runs taking the blame with him. While on the run he tries to jump a train and ends thrown into the water. It is the hands of Elizabeth, an african-american women who save him and bring him back to the mansion she lives with several other servants.

Frank is torn between Mary his first love and Elizabeth.

The book reads like one long poem, simply stunning.

What I Can Tell You: I do not have any copies to give away. I am so sorry about that. But, I do feel that you should head to your library or local book store and find a copy for yourself.


  1. I have this book to read. Based on the cover, I didn't think much of it. After reading your review, I will move it up my list. Sounds like a heartwarming story, and I love them!
    Great review!

  2. Maria, Michael Cogdill here with my deepest thanks for your kind words toward She-Rain. The novel was a long labor of joy and love for me, and I'm thrilled you loved it so! Thank you for spreading the word, and I welcome you to the She-Rain blog: Peace and gratitude,

    1. Anonymous5:02 PM

      You and Kimball Musk need to get back to your abandoned blogs.

  3. I love your book reviews...this book sounds intriguing. Living there myself, I love books about the south. Checking with my library RIGHT NOW :)


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