Differentiating between one’s personal opinion and the quality of the book itself is important in writing good reviews, all the more that I often find myself at odds with the decisions made by the protagonists. Despite this, I have liked many a recent book I have read, and Maria Murnane’s Wait For the Rain is one of them.
Protagonist Daphne White is about to turn forty and doesn’t like how her life has turned out. Her ex-husband is getting remarried, her teenage daughter is becoming increasingly independent, and the career she once dreamed is nowhere to be found. The weight of the divorce and the seeming futility of the sacrifices she made for the sake of her now defunct family made her lose the spirit, energy, and optimism of her college days.
She and her two best friends from college head off to a Caribbean island to mark the beginning of a new decade. Daphne finds out that her friends’ lives, although seemingly much closer to what she had imagined for herself at that age, are filled with their own kind of difficulties. This is perhaps one of the final drops that make her step away from the negative thought patterns centered on her perceived failures and rediscover her enthusiasm for life, the all-important feeling of love—for her friends, for her family, and for herself—and realize that her life isn’t, after all, a failure.
Wait For the Rain is bound to make us reconsider the ideas we have about the age of forty, a topic that is all the more important when taking into consideration the dearth of high profile women of that age and above in the media. It also can inspire thoughts and conversations about the topic of failure, and help us remember that as long as we are trying, there is always hope.