Publication Date: February 17, 2013
In Rain on Your Wedding Day by Curtis Edmonds, the ex-NFL player, Will Morse, lost one daughter and was arrested and charged when another died. For five years he’s been living the life of a hermit and getting a yearly phone call from his only surviving child. When his daughter decides to visit, Will knows that she has big news. She’s pregnant and getting married. Will is happy for her and agrees to come to the wedding but knows he can’t face his ex and family alone, all of whom blame him for his daughter’s death. Dot Crawford comes into his life at the perfect moment. While building his relationship with Dot, he finds that she’s not all she seems to be. Can he put his life back together or will he choose to go on alone?
The author, Curtis Edmonds, gifted me Rain on Your Wedding Day in exchange for my review.
Rain on Your Wedding Day is a ruggedly emotional story. Edmonds acknowledges his character’s pain without trivializing it in any way. This is a man struck low with grief. On the surface, the novel sounds like one that might drag a reader down except that Will is written as a man with demons but one who really wants to make the best of what he has for his family. A reader might roll their eyes and say, “Sure he stays away from his daughter because it’s best for her,” but as we get to know Will, we know that he truly believes that the least harm he can do to his family is through isolation. The beautiful thing about Will is that he has hope that he doesn’t even realize. He has a depth that calls to the reader and while he sees a whirlpool of grief and recrimination, we see a rainbow just on the other side. We do truly get to know Will and his fellow characters. Danielle may seem cold and controlling, but as we get to know her, we know that’s the way she keeps her world in check. She has lost a lot and while Edmonds could have easily written her in a one-dimensional way, he chooses instead to round her out and show us that whatever else Danielle might be, she cares deeply for her children.
The description gives away that Dot betrays Will. Suspension of disbelief must be employed heavily in the Dot/Will storyline. They are written as sweet, caring and playful, and yet given the significance of the event in Will’s life shouldn’t he have recognized Dot? Or maybe Alicia have recognized her when they cross paths at the start of the book? Alicia does, I believe, say she looks familiar, but the trial was only five years before and it was a huge event in the life of the Morse family. To not have recognized someone who was clearly prominent at the time is perhaps a little strange. Not only that but to have that particular storyline wrap so quickly was a bit of a perplexing moment.
EDIT: After reading this review, my husband claims that I am the only one who recognizes people without regard to how many times I’ve met them. He feels that for anyone else, the characters not recognizing Dot would have been a believable plot point.
At the end of the day, the main thrust of the novel was Will’s journey. Trixie, the daughter who killed herself and Francie, the daughter who died in an accident, haunts him. He sees them in dreams and nightmares. My favorite chapters are his conversations with the two daughters that show us so intimately Will’s inner workings.
Rain on Your Wedding Day was a fabulous book, well crafted and a roller coaster of emotion for the reader. I cheered for Will and his family through to the end. If you like literature about the human journey, pick this one up. You will not be disappointed. Edmonds first outing is wonderfully impressive and I cannot wait to see where he takes us next.
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