Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Rain Song

I am so proud to be an American today. I've avoided talking about politics during this contentious election season, and I promise that today will be the only exception to the rule. Last night, hope was ignited in hearts all over the nation. Watching President-elect Obama's acceptance speech was a historic moment, especially seeing the hope on the faces of those attending. I was so exhausted last night from doing laundry, that I actually fell asleep at 7 pm, even though I had been looking forward to watching the returns. I zonked out completely until 11:04 pm, when I suddenly woke up, looked at the muted TV and saw Barack Obama. I elbowed Jesse to wake him up and to turn on the volume, and we both watched. In a single night, it feels like the world has changed. Mia will grow up with a black president, and the concept of that being unusual will never occur to her. A whole generation of children will grow up knowing that so much more is possible. I don't know if he will be able to accomplish everything that he wants to, and I know that eventually he will do something that will make me angry and frustrated. But for today, for this moment, the future seems filled with promise.

Rain Song by Alice J. Wisler is the story of one woman's journey of discovery. They say that the purpose of a journey isn't the destination, but the trip itself, and that's a lesson that Nicole Michelin learns in Rain Song. Nicole is a 31 year old teacher who has isolated herself from much of the world. Her only real connections are with her mother's family, and she clings to her grandmother, Ducee. Nicole's world suddenly expands when she starts an online conversation with Harrison Michaels who is living in Japan, the country where Nicole was born and her mother mysteriously died. Harrison opens up long closed doors to Nicole's past and gives her an opportunity to find out the truth about her childhood, but finding answers means facing her fears. Wisler has created a sweet character in Nicole. She's self-effacing and full of fears, yet the hope deep inside her is searching for a way out. This book doesn't follow the rules as to romance/self-discovery/mystery. It follows Nicole's story and makes for a thoroughly enjoyable read.

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