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REVIEW: “The Value Of Rain” by Brandon Shire

ABOUT:

Charles is 14, and after being discovered with his first love he is forced into a mental hospital to cure his sexuality . For the next ten years he endures mental and physical torture as part of that treatment and when he is finally free, he begins a relentless quest for vengeance against the woman who abetted his commitment, his mother Charlotte.

The Value of Rain chronicles Charles’ journey from hate to the unexpected beginning of redemption, and reveals the destructive nature of families, secrets and revenge.

Proceeds from this book are donated to LGBT Youth Charities.

REVIEW:

Holy Mother of all things sacred, Brandon Shire is trying to kill me.  The Value of Rain is a gut wrenching story unlike any I’ve read before and I don’t have the words to explain how remarkable this is; but I’ll try.

This is the story of Charles and his struggle to live with the consequences of his mother’s hatred.  It’s also about revenge and a life fueled by contempt. It’simple and complex at the same.  There’s love, and a snippet of romance but it’s by no means a romance novel.  This is about Charles’ life; about what happens to him once his mother sends him to a psychiatric facility at the age of 14 for being caught with his best friend Robert.

The story pivots back and forth in time to show us years of abuse.  There’s also generations of bitterness entwined in a web of hate.  There’s bitterness and anger here; soul deep hatred that oozes out of characters who cast vengeance and pain on everyone around them.

If you want to read something that’s out of the usual m/m box, try this.  If you want to read masterful writing, read this.  Just like Shire’s Listening to Dust, I urge anyone thinking of reading this to take their time with it.  It’s a heavy read that needs to be read with patience and reflection.

RATING:  4.5 STARS

OTHER OPINIONS:

Ilhem – 4  STARS

BOOK INFO:

12182945Title:  The Value of Rain
Author:  Brandon Shire
Publisher:  TPG Books
Pages:  88
Release Date:  July 23rd 2011
Purchase Links: Amazon

13 comments on “REVIEW: “The Value Of Rain” by Brandon Shire

  1. Jenni
    December 17, 2013

    Can’t wait to read this, have my heart torn out and tossed in a blender! ;-D Fab review, my friend!

    Like

    • Sue
      December 17, 2013

      Some people like Horror/Torture films, so for purely professional reasons we’ll need to hook up a webcam to view your reading experience. You could be the next Big Star. ;)

      Like

  2. ilhem3606
    December 17, 2013

    Great review Sue. It’s difficult to absorb their stories.<3

    Like

    • Sue
      December 17, 2013

      It’s incredibly difficult, Ilhem. Do you know anyone else who writes like this in m/m?

      Like

      • ilhem3606
        December 18, 2013

        More in gay fiction, perhaps. I’m very ambivalent about his writing, though.:)

        Like

        • Sue
          December 19, 2013

          Ambivalent in which way Ilhem?

          Like

          • Ilhem
            December 19, 2013

            I like how he writes dialogues, but his narrative voice don’t always work for me.

            Like

  3. Lorraine
    December 17, 2013

    Thanks for the great review. I’m really looking forward to reading Brandon Shire’s books. His books sound wonderful based on reviews posted here and elsewhere.

    Like

    • Sue
      December 18, 2013

      Oh, thanks Lorraine. :) If you do end up reading it, would you stop by and let me know your thoughts? I’d love to know. Although, maybe Listening to Dust is a better start to Shire’s work. I haven’t read his others. XD

      Like

  4. shelley
    December 18, 2013

    Shire scares the crap out of me. His stories make me ache so hard, but this, this I can imagine would destroy me. Great review Sue.

    Like

    • Sue
      December 19, 2013

      Good one Shells; “destroy” is an appropriate word for his work and what it does to you while you’re reading it. God help us all. ;)

      That said, I won’t hesitate to read more of his work. Nuh uh, not at all. But I’ll just pace myself for self preservation.

      Like

  5. Ana
    February 1, 2014

    Great review Sue!. I just finished it, and even if it is a hard reading, it is a great book. I loved it, but my main problem was that I fell slightly detached to Charles, don’t know why, but I couldn’t empathize with him entirely. But I really liked the end.

    Like

    • Sue
      February 1, 2014

      Thanks Ana! I remember reading the first scene with Charles’ mum and I swear my chin nearly touched the floor. I mean, I was floored by their relationship (or lack thereof).

      And the ending – my God! I’m sure there’s a lot more written into the story than I picked up. It was so clever.

      Like

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This entry was posted on December 17, 2013 by in Contemporary, Reviewer: Sue and tagged , , , .

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