Sunday, April 4, 2010

She-Rain By Michael Cogdill

By Michael Cogdill

About The Book:
In the early 20th Century, a pair of North Carolina mountain children sow the seed of a love that becomes their only solace in the hard yet beautiful world they know. They grow it from steep ground of poverty, ignorance, and violence. A landscape so brutal it can kill hope long before claiming life.

Bloodshed years later finally sends Frank Locke on the run, deep into wilderness, abandoning his extraordinary love, Mary Lizbeth. When a whitewater river washes this desperate soul into the hands of Sophia, he discovers a luminous woman steeped in mystery, trapped in a tragically brilliant life. Far ahead of her time. Secreted from the world. As she awakens Frank's mind, they rise to meet a love that binds three people for a lifetime.

This love triangle forms a beauty no one sees coming. From the wilds of Appalachia, crossing nearly a century, it runs deep into a lush American fortune, and lives in letters of adoration and hope of the least expected.

In a rhapsody of Southern voices, mingling hilarity and sorrow, She-Rain speaks of lives soaring beyond heartbreak, fundamentalism, and self-destruction. Through the most graceful longing, two women in love with one man ultimately prove the power of human hearts to answer high callings. They show us all how to heal -- and thrive -- to the very end.

About The Author:
Michael Cogdill is blessed as one of the most honored television storytellers in America. His cache of awards includes 24 Emmys and the National Edward R. Murrow for a broad range of achievement, from live reporting to long-form storytelling. His television credits as a journalist include CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, and The Today Show, and Michael's interview history crosses a wide horizon: The Reverend Billy Graham, Dr. Mehmet Oz of Oprah fame, Dr. Henry Kissinger, Abby Hoffman, Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator John McCain, Howard K. Smith, James Brown, Keith Lockhart of the Boston Pops and many other newsmakers. His coverage credits include Presidents and Vice Presidents of the United States.

Michael spent ten years writing She-Rain, letting it evolve into a world of fiction drawn from his upbringing in Western North Carolina but reaching far beyond. His other writing credits are Cracker the Crab and the Sideways Afternoon -- a children's motivational book, and a self-help volume, Raise the Haze. Michael makes his home in South Carolina with his wife, Jill (a publishing entrepreneur), and their second-generation golden retriever, Maggie. He's currently working on his second novel.

For more information, view Michael Cogdill's Web site.

My Review:
I’m not sure where to begin. If you’ve read many of my reviews, you know that I don’t like to recap the storyline. That’s what the section About The Book is suppose to do. I like to tell my readers how this book made me feel, what I learned, what surprised me, or, what completely turned me off.
With this book, I have so many conflicting feelings, that I’m finding it hard to convey those without sounding like a complete ninny. First, let me say that I did not love this story, but I more than liked it. (See what I mean? I do sound like a ninny.)
The author does have beautiful prose, a poetical rhythm, and vivid descriptions. However, for me, maybe a little too much. I kept having to stop and meditate on passages to get the full sense of the writing. As a reader, whenever I have to remove myself from the story to contemplate the writing, it’s like a dash of cold water in the face, suspending my belief in the fictional world the authors has worked so hard to create. Once removed, it’s hard to fully integrate myself back into that world.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the story or the authors narrative skill. In this case, I just feel that the skill overshadowed the storytelling. It’s message of hope, love, and courage is uplifting and entertaining.
So to be really fair, I suggest you try She-Rain for yourself. It’s unique, and no matter your opinion, by the simple act of reading this unusual book, you’ll have broadened your reading horizons.

A complimentary review copy of this book was provided by the Author


  1. Very insightful review! I agree 100%. If I'm pulled out of a story to rehash a sentence/paragraph= not good. Keep me enthralled. LOL Guess I'm definitely of the "Here I am now, entertain me" sort! Love your "good, easy read" button. Very snazzy!

  2. Sarah, thanks for stopping in. It seems we share a lot of the same likes and dislikes.

  3. I finally finished writing my review, and wanted to see how much I was on my own little island I might be with this book. It seems we very much agree...I felt the writing to be beautiful and poetic at times and overdone at others. When it was overdone, I found it almost distracting, which is a shame. I had a hard time with this book over all. It's not a light read by any means.