This evocative, heart-grabbing novel has all the ingredients of an American classic: young people falling in love, a family falling apart, tragedy, and survival.
In Rainy Lake, Mary Francois Rockcastle invites the reader to savor the sights, sounds, and smells of seven summers in a lake community where young Danny Fillian's family purchased a lopsided cabin in the 1960s. From the landscape of her memory, Danny paints a sensitive and wise family portrait of summers filled with fly-fishing, swimming, waterskiing, friendships, and a deepening first love. But things start to go wrong with this American dream as the intrusions of the wider world change all their lives forever.
Problems that begin with a stubborn infestation of bats in their new home and culminate with angry discussions over Vietnam threaten to tear the Fillian family apart. Danny and her brother Bryan share a special bond as they try to cope with their increasingly alcoholic father and with tensions within their community. Danny feels helpless to change the worsening situation at home, and is compelled to hide her strong feelings for a mixed race boy from an adjoining lake.
The reader will be heartened by Danny's determination in finding her own way through the conflict and tragedy that shape her summers at Rainy Lake. This haunting and lyrical account of adolescent passage resonates with pain and longing and hope.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - whitreidtan - LibraryThing
Little did I realize as I sit here at my own cottage that this novel takes place over several successive summers at a lake cottage. I'm certain that that description so many years ago was a major ... Read full review
RAINY LAKEUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
Select passages of assured writing distinguish this otherwise ordinary debut novel of family drama. Danny Fillian is 11 in 1963 when her parents buy a run-down cabin rather than the pristine beach ... Read full review