My husband bought Sheltering Rain by Jojo Moyes for me from a second-hand bookstore online. It’s her very first novel and I had never heard of it before. I love Jojo Moyes books so I was excited to get stuck into this one.
Sheltering Rain tells the story of three women from the same family. There’s Joy who grew up in Hong Kong and meets her husband Edward, a naval officer, in the 1950s. We later meet her as an elderly woman who lives in Ireland with her husband and looks after horses. There’s Joy’s daughter, Kate, who lives in London with her daughter and is going through relationship problems. And there’s Kate’s daughter Sabine, who is fifteen-years-old and has a whole heap of attitude. She is sent for a short visit to see the grandparents she barely knows as her mother doesn’t have much of a relationship with Joy.
Sheltering Rain has all the elements you would expect from a Jojo Moyes book – lots of family drama, well-written characters, themes of love and loss and secrets. It’s a story of three generations of women who are all quite different and don’t seem to know how to communicate with one another. I liked the part about Joy’s earlier years living in Hong Kong and I wish there had been more of this story line. Kate didn’t have much to do apart from fall in and out of love and relationships with men – much to the disgust of her daughter. Sabine seemed to get the most pages in this story and I was both sympathetic to and irritated by her constant teenage angst.
This book was a nice read and I definitely enjoyed it but I can’t say that it had a concrete point to it or any great revelations. It was just a meandering look into the life and loves of three women from different eras. If you like horses, there was also lots of horse riding in this novel. I compare this book to later books by Jojo Moyes and I can see how she has grown better as a writer.
Verdict: A nice, warmhearted tale of three women from three generations of the same family.