Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: Zebra
Release Date: April 2003
ISBN: 0821773399
Format Reviewed:
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Genre: Contemporary Romance
Reviewed: 2003
Reviewer: Janet Elaine Smith
Reviewer Notes:

After the Rain
Previous Title: Falling Home
By Karen White 

After the Rain by Karen White is the sequel to her debut novel, Falling Home. I read Falling Home, and I thoroughly enjoyed it-with one exception: the wife of Joe Warner died, leaving him to raise six children alone. I really disliked that part of the book, and I even contacted the author and told her that. However when I read Joe's story in After the Rain, I knew that both books were exactly as they should have been.

The story opens with Suzanne Paris riding on a bus, destination Nowhere, USA, and a woman strikes up a conversation with her. When the other woman gets off in Walton, Georgia, Suzanne decides to get off there, too. She gets a ride "into town" by Joe and his brood of offspring. She immediately is turned off by the children, and they all decide that she doesn't like children. Joe's entire world, on the other hand, revolves completely around his family, which also includes his wife's very pregnant sister and her husband, who is the town's doctor.

Suzanne rents a house that is being remodeled, and soon has a job-in the outlandish lingerie shop in town. She is bombarded on a regular basis by Joe's children coming in and out, the owner of the shop who continues with his construction work, and visits from the town's busybodies. There is a whole bevy of delightful and very colorful secondary characters.

Suzanne has a mountain of secrets from her past, many which she doesn't even know about herself. An old lady in Walton, whom everyone thinks is completely senile, seems to know who Suzanne is and, as they form a bond over romance novels, she reveals the things that will finally bring peace to Suzanne for her mother's desertion-and a whole lot of other secrets.

As Suzanne interacts with Joe's oldest daughter, she finds that her heart is lost not only to Joe, but to the "whole darn brood". Suzanne is a professional photographer and, through a photography contest, her past is revealed-not only to Joe, but to the entire population of Walton, GA. Embarrassed and disgusted with herself, she leaves town.

There is a fair amount of mystery which weaves its way into After the Rain and the escapades of Joe's daughter and her boyfriend, which includes an overturned truckload of manure, will have you laughing. As Joe and Suzanne make their amends, and their commitments to each other, you won't be able to stop the tears from trickling down your cheeks.

This one is definitely a not-to-be-missed read. I look forward to a lot more books by Karen White.

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