How I came across this book, I am uncertain. I think it was mentioned in a comment someone made. The Kindle price was right, so I gave it a try (sorry, could not find an EPUB for the Nook). One evening, I was looking for a diversion from the science and theology material and decided to give this a try.
Glad I did.
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. (Genesis 6.5-8, NASB)I suppose it could be considered "historical fiction". The Bible does not tell us the names of Noah's wife or of his sons' wives, nor do we know what happened what went on while they were cooped up in the Ark. (It was over a year — do the math.) But they were real people, and had personalities, desires, fears, anguish, hope and all those other things that people have. They also had the promises of God, just like we do.
The biblical details are not neglected. I was reading with a critical view, wondering, "What about..." Later, "Oh, there it is!"
Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark. The water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days. (Genesis 7.23-24, NASB)The Rain has a bit of back-and-forth to it, beginning at the start of the Flood. Noah's son Japheth is giving his narrative. We are also given flashbacks and other third person material, and these trade off. Instead of being confusing, Chris Skates and Dan Tankersley add depth to the story. They gave the characters believable personalities, including fears, flaws and faith. We also share their anguish at the deaths of the people who rejected Noah's message, who were mocking them and worse. Uncertainty about the future, but also faith. It is written in contemporary language, and that adds to the readability as well.
"For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be." (Matthew 24.37-39, NASB)My regular readers may recall that I am not overly fond of Christian fiction because much of it is pretentious, unbelievable and even sappy. The Rain is none of those. It is about people, and very human. The publisher says that the print version is 254 pages, which seemed about right. I did not get bored, and I doubt that you will, either.
First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. (2 Peter 3.3-10, NIV)