Book 2 of Chambers of the Heart series begins exactly where When It Raynes left off. For those of you who expressed frustration about the lack of a complete arc in book 1, it is clearly a giant 4 part work, the size of War and Peace, rather then a 4 part series.
This section focuses on Rayne, an interior monologue that follows her struggle to come to terms with her choices. Trained, expected and bullied into being the perfect southern belle, she accepts the life-plan her domineering mother and ‘take for granted’ boyfriend expect of her. But as the story unfolds we watch Rayne grow, challenge and even rebel against those expectations as she fights to be herself – despite what her choices will do to her dreams of going home.
Rayne is a powerful character. Frequently self absorbed and somewhat isolated, she never the less resonates as a woman of strength and power. It Pours has new characters for us to meet and Mo is a particularly unusual heroine with her looks, lifestyle and passion creating a fascinating allure.
CD Cain’s writing brings the characters to life. We feel the stress and tension building in Rayne, her inner turmoil contrasting her apparent outward serenity. Sam is ever present in her mind, an anchor and a guilt. This becomes almost a psychological thriller as we wait for Rayne to chose, to grow into the woman we all want her to be.
CD Cain’s descriptive passages are superb. She brings to life the south, the bayou and the forest. From the dust of a motorcycle journey to the peace of a hammock, every scene is firmly anchored in a sense of place that gives an added dimension to the intensity of the storytelling.
I have to be honest and say I thought the prose was a little less tight than the first book. Maybe a little less edited and occasionally repetitive. But that did not detract from the essence of the story, the power and substance of the writing, and the pure joy of immersing yourself so wholly into a world exquisitely drawn.
Cannot wait for books 3 and 4 to see where they take Rayne and Sam. There is no doubt their story isn’t over.
(publisher review copy received)
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