The Sweetest Rain
As the drought of 1930 burns crops to a crisp, Bryony Linwood dreams of cooling winter snows and the life she would have had if Daddy hadn’t been killed in the Great War and Mama hadn’t moved Bryony and her sisters to their grandfather’s struggling tenant farm in tiny Eden, Arkansas. Now Mama’s gone, too, and as times grow tougher, Bryony will do whatever it takes to ensure her family’s survival.
Michael Heath barely survived the war, and twelve years later all he wants to do is forget. A virtual recluse, his one passion is botanical illustration. Lost in the diversity of nature’s beauty, he finds escape from a troubled past and from his wealthy father’s continual pressure to take an interest in the family plantation.
When Bryony accepts employment at the Heath mansion, it’s just a job at first, a means to ward off destitution until the drought ends and Grandpa’s farm is prosperous again. But Bryony’s forced optimism and dogged determination disguise a heart as dry and despairing as the scorched earth . . . until she discovers Michael Heath and his beautiful botanical illustrations. As their relationship deepens, friendship soon blossoms into healing for wounded souls and a love that can’t be denied.
What readers are saying . . .
Loved, loved your book The Sweetest Rain. Could not put it down.–from a reader’s letter
Impeccable writing and well-developed characters made this novel one of my new favorites. Although forbidden love between a man and woman of different stations or classes is a common trope, nothing about this story felt tired or cliché. —Amazon reviewer
Myra Johnson has a gift for beautiful writing that makes you feel deeply for the characters. . . . she didn’t go for simple answers. Instead she made it feel real, like people you love struggling and surviving and thriving through their own wisdom and God’s grace. —Mary Connealy, Amazon review
There is so much to say about this book, starting with the wonderful cover that is closely linked to the main character, Bryony, who has a beautiful name. She is a strong, independent heroine who is willing to do whatever it takes to hold her family together. … The characters also demonstrate sacrificial love, which may remind the reader of what God did for us through Jesus. This book was different from what I normally read, but I found it to be extremely engaging. I told myself, “Just one more chapter.” on more than one occasion! I look forward to reading the second book in the series. —Amazon reviewer
I have to admit to a fascination with stories set during the Depression era and there just aren’t enough of them out there. In The Sweetest Rain, drought-stricken Arkansas takes on a personality all its own. It makes for a gritty read at times, but also for an awe-inspiring one. … And here’s the incredible strength to their love story — they both have what the other wants most. … The way Johnson meshes these needs, merges their worlds and brings them together is truly astounding. Compelling secondary characters flesh out the story, bringing depth and no shortage of surprises to the plot. A complicated, emotional read about learning how to let go of the past in order to grab hold of the future. –Kav, Amazon review
Such a splendid beginning to what promises to be a fantastic new series! . . . The Sweetest Rain sings with characters who became my friends and family as I read, their personalities almost tangible. . . . The Sweetest Rain is a refreshing tale of hope, family, determination, and love. The romance captured my heart, and the setting created the perfect storm for Bryony and Michael. I am so looking forward to the rest of this series with much anticipation! Highly recommended for any historical fiction fan! —Reading is My Superpower
Sweetest Rain has . . . real characters, believable conflict, and a historical period not often visited but done so in rich, lively detail. . . . I enjoyed it, and I hope you will, too. It’s also refreshing to see a larger Catholic publisher taking on some commercial-style fiction for actual grownups. —Erin McColl Cupp