After the Rain by Jane Lorenzini ~ 252 pages ~ published 10/2/18 by Nest Press
Can Belle Carson reinvent her life by moving in next door to Thomas Edison’s winter estate?
It’s January 1888. The small town of Fort Myers is buzzing about a possible visit from famous winter residents Mina and Thomas Edison. When the local newspaper reports that the couple needs a gardener for their riverside estate, nearly everyone lines up to apply.
For twenty-five-year-old Belle Carson, a painful childhood secret has kept her world — and her hopes for the future — small. But with lush gardens already sprouting in her imagination, Belle decides to fight for the job and the opportunity to move from a cramped storage room to a charming cottage next door to the Edison homes and laboratory. Yet, when her dark past threatens to destroy everything she has so carefully cultivated, she must battle harder than ever for her best life — and the chance to live it.
What I Thought:
I am a big historical fiction fan, so when I heard Jane Lorenzini talk about her book at the Southern Festival of Books this year, I knew I needed to pick this one up. I really didn’t know much about Thomas Edison and his winter estate in Florida, and I love to learn new things, so this sounded like a really fun read!
I loved the setting of this story. I felt very immersed in the world, and could picture it very vividly in my mind. I love when I feel like I can fall into a setting and feel totally at home there. It was descriptive without being too much.
The characters were very well drawn. Belle was intriguing and I really did enjoy how I kept discovering new things about her as the novel went along. She was like a beautiful onion, with all of the layers 😉 The supporting characters of Merle, Abigail, and Boone helped to round out the story and make it feel complete. I enjoyed how the supporting characters helped to reveal more of the story bit by bit. I thought the storytelling in this novel was very well done.
I will say, for a novel that purports to be about Thomas Edison, we find out remarkably little about him. I thought that this would bother me, but I was so wrapped up in the lives of the other characters that I didn’t really mind in the end.
This book does deal with some tough topics, including rape, abortion, single-motherhood, death in childbirth, murder, and abuse. I thought that all of these topics were handled with grace and care. I also found it very interesting to see these topics discussed in a historical context, which is not always done. So, if any of these topics trigger you, proceed with caution, but they are handled well.
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. I learned a lot about this era of history and the western coast of Florida. I loved the characters and wanted to know even more about them when the book was finished. That is always the sign of a good book for me! 🙂
I gave After the Rain 4 STARS! If you enjoy historical fiction with some great moral takeaways, this is the book for you!
Are you interested in learning more about this book? Check out the links below!
Have you read After the Rain yet? Are you a historical fiction fan? What is your favorite historical fiction time period? Let me know down in the comments!
Love and happy reading,