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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

When the Rain Ends

Narrator: Megan Tusing

Brilliance Audio

ISBN: 978-1542034531

Publisher: Montlake

Publication Date: 05/01/2023

Format: e-book & audio

My Rating: 5 Stars

From The Brighter the Light author Mary Ellen Taylor comes the emotional story of a mother and daughter learning to endure life’s twists and turns as they grieve a loss and face an uncertain future.

When artist Dani Manchester learns she’s slowly losing her vision, she becomes unmoored. Her ex-husband died only months before, leaving Dani and her preteen daughter grief stricken. Suddenly, the life Dani built for her family on the Outer Banks feels like a painful reminder of all they’ve lost.

On a whim, Dani sells her waterfront home and buys an old farm inland near the Virginia state line. But Dani’s daughter recoils at the sudden, drastic change. The Outer Banks’ sun-swept beaches, pink dawns, and savage storms are all she’s ever known.

But Dani is resolute, and the pair move to Virginia to embark on a challenging renovation. That summer, their efforts to turn a run-down silo into an art studio bring forth new friends, new loves, and new challenges.

As mother and daughter navigate the fiercest storm of their lives, they learn that instead of waiting for the skies to clear, they can withstand the wind and rain, so long as they do it together.

My Review

Southern storyteller Mary Ellen Taylor returns following The Brighter The Light with her latest, WHEN THE RAIN ENDS —an emotional and heartwarming tale of a mother and daughter navigating their way in the face of grief and uncertainty.

"Do not squander time. It is the stuff life is made of."

—Benjamin Franklin

2023 OUTER BANKS, NC: Dani Manchester is an artist whose doctor told her she is slowly losing her eyesight due to retinitis pigmentosa—a genetic disease that led to the slow narrowing and darkening of her vision. It may be several years before she loses her vision completely. Or it might all vanish sooner.

She owns a successful art gallery in Duck, NC. Her ex-husband (divorced), a restaurateur, Matthew, but they remained best friends, and the father of her daughter Bella, pre-teen, had recently died in a car accident four months ago.

Dani must make some life-altering decisions to move with her daughter and puppy, Rose, a shepherd mix, inland, to help her daughter with her grieving process—a new start.

When Dani decides to leave her beautiful home on the Outer Banks and rent it as a vacation rental to move inland to a farmhouse in Virginia, Bella is not thrilled. Dani sends Bella to a grief camp to deal with her loss. There she meets a new friend, Reggie.

Dani buys a house and an old silo next to it to turn it into an art gallery. She had admired the property for years and considered it charming. However, it needed renovation.

Could they make it all work? Was she mistakenly moving her daughter from the only home she had known and a new business?

"The what-ifs didn't matter. If Dani learned anything, the universe didn't care what she wanted. Like the ocean, it swept in and reshaped that beaches and dunes at will, and it never once considered the destruction in its wake."

She hired a new contractor for the renovations through her realtor, Jackson Cross (also an artist working with metal), and they have been dating. However, she is trying to keep their relationship a secret for the present from her daughter.

Told from POVs: Dani, Jackson, and Bella. We get to know these characters and their passions, fears, grief, and desires.

Jackson likes Bella, who has her mom's spark, and he admires them. He was set to return to the Florida Keys with his boat, his refuge for years, but now he was not excited to escape. He had been content to live a monk's life until he met Dani.

Bella is unhappy and is rebelling. She feels trapped in the new house, and her mom thinks moving could outrun sadness. At least she has her friend, Finn, and a new friend, Reggie.

Her mom had a saying, "Feeling bad just gets in the way of a good day."

She will try to be nicer because she cannot lose her mom after losing her dad. She writes letters to her mom and dad at camp to express her feelings. She does not express her feelings to others.

All three are keeping their secrets. Dani had always kept her true feelings from the world around her since her mom died when she was young.

She fears losing her sight but does not share it with Bella or Jackson. She does not want people to feel sorry for her and wants to continue her life as a gallery owner for as long as possible and as normally as possible.

However, Dani, Bella, and Jackson can help others by opening up and sharing their grief and experiences to find joy and healing.

As always, Taylor knows how to weave a beautiful story with well-drawn characters you relate to. Deeply felt, WHEN THE RAIN ENDS, is a lyrical, thought-provoking tale of grief, coping, healing, and learning to rely on others through difficult times.

TIME is a central focus of the book. Those closest to the characters in the story had run out of time. I enjoyed the relation to the sundial. I also loved the letter writing. A common theme: Stop resenting the future and search for moments of joy in the present. Do not squander time. A wise lesson for us all.

"Time might have distanced Dani from the worst of her past pains, but its tick-tock also brought her closer to endless tomorrows bathed in darkness."

WHEN THE RAIN ENDS is a fitting title and an ideal choice for Mother's Day and book clubs. I am a huge long-time fan of the author and have read all her books. Highly recommend MET's captivating novels, especially, The Brighter The Light, to learn more about this family. She also writes thrillers under Mary Burton, so be sure to check those out.

I read the e-book and listened to the audiobook, narrated by Megan Tusing, for an engaging performance for all voices. For fans of authors Kristy Woodson Harvey, Catherine Ryan Hyde, and Viola Shipman.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: May 1, 2023

My Rating: 5 Stars

From the Publisher

Dani Manchester’s whole life is built around the beauty she sees: The ever-changing, sparkling blues of the Currituck Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. The kinetic swirls of paint on a canvas. The lovely and opinionated preteen daughter she never expected to be raising alone. So when Dani receives a diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa—a genetic disease that will slowly narrow and darken her vision, eventually stealing it altogether—she fears she’ll lose herself.

When the Rain Ends is an emotional and powerful story about motherhood, grief, and connection, and it won’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me that I cried buckets as I read. The catharsis of connecting with both Dani, who attempts to cope with her fears and sorrow in private, and then with her daughter, Bella, who wears her emotions right at the surface during her nascent teenage years, was real and fulfilling. As soon as I finished reading, I wanted to call my own mom.

Settle in with this book by Mary Ellen Taylor, and you’ll be swept away by an uplifting tale of hope and love.

—Alison Dasho, Editor

About the Author

Amazon Charts bestselling author, Mary Ellen Taylor’s love of her home state Virginia is evident in her contemporary women’s fiction, including Winter Cottage , Spring House, and Honeysuckle Season. She brings her new home on the Outer Banks of North Carolina to life in her latest novel The Brighter The Light and When the Rain Ends

As do so many people, her protagonists search for their place in the world, exploring issues of family, home, love and belonging. Inevitably, Mary Ellen’s stories interweave setting, history and mysteries that span past and present.

Mary Ellen is also known nationally as New York Times and USA Today bestselling suspense novelist Mary Burton. Together, they have published forty-nine novels and five novellas. Mary Burton’s latest, The House Beyond the Dunes, is a September 2023 release.

When not traveling or writing, Mary Ellen spends time with her husband enjoying walks on the beach with their miniature dachshunds, Buddy, Bella and Tiki. WEBSITE



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