A GENTLE RAIN
The remarkable Smith
has written a story full of compassion and kindness. There is no finer or more evocative storyteller than this beloved author, to whom characterization is a fine art. Told from alternating first-person viewpoints, this voyage of self-discovery also examines love in all shapes and sizes. It's profoundly magical.
While deeply loved, Kara Whittenbrook has always felt a tad intimidated by her acclaimed and wealthy parents. Their sudden tragic deaths ultimately reveal that Kara was adopted and is the birth child of Lily and Mac, two mentally challenged people who now live on Thocco Ranch in Florida.
Ben Thocco has been responsible for his Down syndrome brother, Joey, since he was 16, and the ranch has become a mecca where people with various challenges can find a good life and productive work. Kara's unexpected arrival provides a fresh jolt of life to all. Ben and Kara have been thrown unexpected curves; dare they risk their hearts? (BELLEBOOKS, Nov., 395 pp., $16.95)