Rain by Monique P. Howerton

Publisher/Date:  Hersay, Sept. 2002
Genre:  Supernatural
Pages:  206

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Right in time for Halloween comes a book that combines the afterlife, black lesbianism, romance and the gay family. It’s here, all combined in Monique P. Howerton’s supernatural story, RAIN.

Rain is the tale of Monica Walker and her unrequited love (or so we think) for Pia, a woman who stole her heart when she was 16 years old. Monica was introduced to Pia and her extended “family,” but the two women had this connection, a deep affinity for each other, not withstanding a fantastic sexual attraction. Lovers for years, everything changed when Teri steps into the picture.

Monica and Pia loved each other, but Pia, being older and wiser, thought it could never work with someone so young and innocent to the world. So she finds love with Teri, a womanizing stud who couldn’t remain monogamous to save her life–literally. It’s because of her infidelity that she and Pia both contract AIDS. All the while Monica stands by and knows she could give Pia a better life. Monica has done everything she could to make Pia see that they are soulmates; Pia does realize it–when it’s too late; her fear simply kept her from knowing an unconditional love.

The constant rain described in the novel, almost a character itself, was a metaphor for the sadness and drama that ensued.

Here’s where the supernatural part comes in. Monica, who grew up with supernatural powers, fights to protect Pia’s soul from evil forces that come for her. If you’re into supernatural fiction tales, then this part will grab you. If you don’t believe in the afterlife, you will just read it for what it is.

Howerton’s writing is unique, despite the grammatical errors. Rain is quick read, but the story does use a reverse plotting element, flopping from the past to the present, and you will sometimes find yourself trying to figure out what’s exactly taking place at times. Elements are revealed as the story progresses, but in the beginning, names and details are mentioned without much explanation. But Howerton does deliver a different type of story–and that’s always to be applauded.

Reviewed October 2005

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