A Gentle Rain, by Deborah Smith

Cover ImageFinished on 1-20-09, rating 4/5, fiction, pub. 2007

Shakey pointed a fake finger at me.  “You and that scar-faced mare?  You’re racin’ for all of us who are missin’ a part or two.  You probably won’t win, but at least you’ll get in the game.  You’re proof that God needs even the angels who are missin’ a wing.”

Chapter 20

Kara was raised as one of the elite.  Worth millions, with powerful friends in all the right places, she always felt inferior to her very successful relatives.  When her parents die she discovers she had been adopted and decides to find her bith parents.  Mac and Lily are still together and living on the Thocco Ranch.  Kara changes her name and heads to Florida where she ingratiates herself into the lives of everyone at the ranch. 

Ben Thocco has come up the hard way.  Born dirt poor he lost his parents at a young age and had to escape to Mexico with his younger brother so the courts would not separate them.  Now, in his late 30’s, he is a successful Florida ranch owner still caring for his younger brother who suffers from Down’s Syndrome and a serious heart condition.  His ranch hands are special needs adult who contribute to the ranch and form a makeshift family of society’s outcasts. 

This story of mentally challenged adults and a love between two people who need each other really touched me.  The theme of being different and being loved and accepted anyway is one that we should all be reminded of from time to time.  The book drew me in because of the people, but there was also so much story to tell.  Ben is fighting to save his ranch and his brother’s life and Kara is trying to come to terms with her wealth and what is best for her birth parents. 

I thought the last section of the book had more story than it really needed and I wish I could say more, but it might spoil it.  The end was too tidy and that is the only reason this didn’t rate higher for me. 

This book will appeal to many people.  Jane Austen fans will love the quotes sprinkled throughout the book.  Floridians, ranchers, and horse racing fans will enjoy the story.  Anyone interested in the emotional impact of finding out you’re adopted will not be disappointed.  And, of course, anyone who has someone in their life that is different will appreciate the story of the Thocco Ranch.