Beat the Rain – Nigel Jay Cooper

(Reviewed by JD Jung)


“It scarcely seems possible that they’ve settled back into ordinary life…Painful, gut-wrenching normal life, killing them bit by bit as the seconds tick by….Life disappears behind them in a trail of sameness, the lies and unsaid truths inside them both growing cavernous, echo chambers deep within to get lost in. And like grey steps leading to infinity, the days stack up and up, identical, cold and unremarkable. “

Louise and Adam yearned to feel something…anything. But let’s back up a bit.

Louise was in love with Tom, but he kept his terminal illness a secret from her and his twin brother, Adam. Upon his death, Louise felt abandoned, just like she was as a child by her mother. Adam was grieving too; part of him was missing.

Through their grief and a request from a video made by a dying Tom, Louise and Adam get married and have kids. Yes, you’ve read this scenario before… but this is one is different. They become tired with each other, their annoying friends and their lives. Louise realizes that she’s not cut out for motherhood, perhaps just like her mother.

All of a sudden a man enters their lives and both Louise and Adam start to feel again. He’s the person, the friend, who stirs up that something inside of them. They become more positive and excited about life.

There’s more to it though. Maybe you have to appreciate your friends who express themselves as they truly are. Maybe you just can’t escape your past. Maybe you always want something more. Maybe some of us are just so emotionally damaged beyond repair.

As you can see, there are so many layers to Beat the Rain. When you think you’ve peeled away the last one, there is another section glaring you in the face. Blame, secrets, lies, rejection, self-identify…it doesn’t stop.

The ending is well thought out and makes a lot of sense. In fact each element of the story is strategically placed.

This debut novel is so compelling and well-written. In fact, it’s one of the best novels of its kind that I have read in quite a long time. Beat the Rain makes the sometimes arduous task of “discovering literary gems” all worthwhile. I hope that Nigel Jay Cooper is working on another novel. He’s one author to keep an eye out for.

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