Book Club Beat – Rain Song by Alice Wisler

Today I start a new feature – Book Club Beat, where book clubs share about their discussions. Today’s post is from my own book club. Sorry – we don’t have a catchy name, but we’ve been meeting since 2003 (!) and have way too much fun.

Book: Rain Song by Alice Wisler
What’s it about?
Nicole Michelin avoids airplanes, motorcycles, and most of all, Japan, where her parents once were missionaries. Something happened in Japan. Something that sent Nicole and her father back to America alone. Something of which Nicole knows only bits and pieces. But she is content with life in little Mount Olive, North Carolina, with her quirky relatives, tank of lively fish, and plenty of homemade pineapple chutney.
Through her online column for the Pretty Fishy website, Nicole meets Harrison Michaels, who, much to her dismay, lives in Japan. She attempts to avoid him, but his e-mails tug at her heart.
Then Harrison reveals that he knew her as a child in Japan. In fact, he knows more about her childhood than she does! Will Nicole face her fears in order to discover her past and take a chance on love?

Discussion questions included? Were they helpful?

In the back of the book. Yes, they were helpful – we used several of them.

What we liked about the book:

We loved Nicole’s sense of humor and her quirky relatives. We all liked Wisler’s style of writing and enjoyed the story. And we loved how Nicole’s relationship with her difficult & “different” niece grew from annoyance to appreciation.

Anything we would change?

We found Harrison an appealing hero, so we were disappointed not to read more scenes with him at the end – and we wanted to “see” more of Japan with Nicole and Harrison. But we did find the ending emotionally fulfilling.

Fun connections (did the story inspire food, decorations, setting, service projects?):

Since Nicole’s early years in Japan were crucial to the story, we had yakitori chicken. The hostess decorated with kimonos, fans, and souvenirs from her father’s trips to Japan – and her daughter made colorful origami fish for favors. There was a recipe in the book for pineapple chutney, but none of us were brave enough to make it.

Deep connections (this story made us think about…):

This story led to some good discussions – how we treat children who are “different” like Nicole’s niece, Monet, what we’d do if we found out a friend’s husband was cheating on her, and how we deal with fears. And whether pineapple chutney sounded disgusting or delicious.

Do you recommend this book for other book clubs? Yes.

Thanks for joining me today! If you belong to a book club and would like your group to be featured here, let me know! Pictures of the book club can be included if you’d like. Christian or “clean secular” fiction/nonfiction only please. The questionnaire is short, and I’ll obtain the book cover and story blurb.
If you’re looking for a book club, check out the Book Club Network at http://www.bookfun.org/ , an on-line meeting place for Christian book club members and authors. Over 500 members and it’s only a few months old! Join the fun!

6 Responses to “Book Club Beat – Rain Song by Alice Wisler”

  1. A Hopeful Heart

    This sounds like an interesting read. Thank you for this discussion, otherwise, I’d never have heard about it.


  2. Alice J. Wisler

    Thanks for posting here about Rain Song! So glad your book club enjoyed my novel.

    ~ Alice J. Wisler
    All from Bethany House: RAIN SONG, HOW SWEET IT IS, & HATTERAS GIRL

  3. Julia M. Reffner

    What a great feature idea, Sarah! And I am QUITE anxiously awaiting your novel…I will have to content myself with your great historical tidbits I suppose 🙂

  4. Sarah Sundin

    I’m glad you guys enjoyed it! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
    Julia – less than 2 weeks…(she says with a nervous tic)

  5. Rel

    Hey Sarah – love this idea. Inspires me to think of something similar for my book club. We have been meeting since 2002 🙂