Lucy Marinn is a glass artist living in mystical, beautiful, Friday Harbor, Washington. She is stunned and blindsided by the most bitter kind of betrayal: her fiancé Kevin has left her. His new lover is Lucy’s own sister. Lucy's bitterness over being dumped is multiplied by the fact that she has constantly made the wrong choices in her romantic life. Facing the severe disapproval of Lucy's parents, Kevin asks his friend Sam Nolan, a local vineyard owner on San Juan Island, to "romance" Lucy and hopefully loosen her up and get her over her anger. Complications ensue when Sam and Lucy begin to fall in love, Kevin has second thoughts, and Lucy discovers that the new relationship in her life began under false pretenses. Questions about love, loyalty, old patterns, mistakes, and new beginnings are explored as Lucy learns that some things in life—even after being broken—can be made into something new and beautiful.
I was engrossed from page one by Lisa's richly drawn characters, layers of complex emotion, and smooth and memorable diction. Her writing has always astounded me, inspired me even. She's one of the only commercial fiction authors I have ever quoted because she is that good. Her words speak to some part of my soul, as silly and cheesy as that sounds. And in Rainshadow Road, even though I'd hoped for more magical realism and a little less coincidence, she was at the top of her game.
I read and read and read. I couldn't put it down. But then life stepped in about three-quarters of the way through and changed it for me. My relationship hit some pretty big rocks and I'm not so sure it's going to survive, even now, almost two weeks later. As a result, my bleeding heart couldn't handle watching Lucy and Sam fall so amazingly in love, to see them find everything I've always dreamed of when I continually seem to lose grasp of it myself.
But even though I wanted nothing to do with their love story, I was incomprehensibly drawn back in. That's what this author does--she makes you feel so much that you can't do anything but feel more--and want to. It made me cry and smile and laugh and want to tear out my hair, but her love stories are so honest and true and palpable that those things would've happened even if I weren't in the place I am now. I am impressed again and again when I read her books.
The Last Word: If you are a hopeless (or hopeful) romantic, if you enjoy feeling like the characters in a book are your best friends, if you want to smile and laugh and be inspired, pick up a copy of Rainshadow Road. Now.