In the novel Heaven Sent Rain by Lauraine Snelling, Dinah Taylor is a scientist who started her own company of food supplements to improve health. Her job, her life, her all-white condo and wardrobe are perfectly ordered.
One day at her usual breakfast stop, she sees a small boy and his dog sitting out in front. They look shabby, but not dirty. Dinah offers to buy the boy, Jonah, breakfast, and he accepts. Then he’s at the same place the next day, and then every day thereafter. Dinah tries to find out his background, imagining everything from a drug-infested home to neglect. But Jonah evades her questions.
Then in the middle of one night, Dinah receives a frantic phone call. Jonah’s dog is badly injured. Can she help?
Dinah isn’t sure what she’s getting into, but she can’t refuse. Searching for an emergency vet clinic open that time of night, she takes Jonah and his dog in. They are met by veterinarian Garret Miller, who seems warm and kind toward Jonah and the dog, but icy toward Dinah.
As Dinah continues to help Jonah, she gets in over her head. As she, Jonah, and Garret interact, their lives change.
Most of the other books I’ve read by Lauraine were historical fiction about Norwegian immigrants. I didn’t think I had read any of her contemporary fiction, but then remembered I had read Someday Home a couple of years ago.
I loved the way Dinah’s story unfolded, with the author revealing just a bit at a time until the whole picture came into view. Garret is an enjoyable character, too, after getting past his initial standoffishness, which is explained later.
Dinah is not a Christian, having rejected her parents’ teaching and beliefs. The details of that situation are gradually revealed, too. Garret and Jonah are both believers, as is Dinah’s receptionist. But the faith element felt very natural and not forced.
I thought the ending wrapped up a bit too quickly, and I had a theological quibble with one sentence. But overall I really enjoyed the book.
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