Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Review: Lisa Gregory’s THE RAINBOW SEASON - Redemption Romance Texas Style

First published in 1979, THE RAINBOW SEASON was a pioneering novel in the early years of modern historical romance. But you’d never know it. It reads like one that could be written today.

Set in a Texas farming community of strong Methodist values, likely in the late 18th century, it tells of 25-year-old Sarah McGowen, who secretly pines for her sister’s husband and has an active fantasy life. She wants her own family but has rejected suitors she doesn’t love. The McGowen family is rich in values and customs of shared warmth. Nothing like the family of Luke “Digger” Turner with his abusive, alcoholic father. Sent to prison for 5 years for a rape he didn’t commit, Luke returns at 23, poor and believing he is hated and feared by all. But Sarah’s father doesn’t believe the tales and gives him a job working their farm. Luke proves himself with hard work and revels in the small comforts the McGowen family shares with him while he fantasizes about having Sarah for his own. But he thinks of her as a “Sunday School woman,” too good for a man like him.

It’s a simple story set amidst the simple life of Texas farmland, but it is very well told. It is also a story of redemption as Sarah shows Luke the good man he is. She was the less pretty sister who wanted everything her sister had; he was the poor white trash who always did wrong. But together, they were very good. I recommend this one.

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