The Rainy Season
|First published by Ace, 1999 (hard cover)
Time Travel, Trapped Souls, and people who'll do anything to possess the children they see as rightfully theirs...
The Rainy Season is another work like Winter Tides, in which the landscape saturates the story. Blaylock is well on his way to making his southern California one of those lands of fiction that can become more real to his readers than their own. It's also another story that looks at people so focussed on a particular desire of their own that they become perverse and destructive.
In The Rainy Season, photographer Phil Ainsworth and his orphaned niece Betsy find themselves surrounded by obsessives whose motives they don't understand. The well on Phil's isolated property draws nocturnal prowlers; a priest, Betsy's former next-door neighbour, an antiques dealer, and an opportunist are all looking for memories trapped in small glass objects associated with the well; and there's a dowser offering to look for bones. A century before, there were two young women, two young men, and the leader of a religious cult, all struggling for the soul of a young girl. The two stories are one, and as the antiques dealer and the motherhood-obsessed neighbour close in on Betsy, Phil begins to understand things about his family that he'd long ago given up questioning.
Blaylock does a great job with Betsy, in particular. She's a solemn, thoughtful, intelligent nine year old, mature and childish at once, and utterly believable.
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