Winner, Literary Fiction category, 2011 Indie Excellence Awards
Silver medalist, 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY), Regional Fiction: Australia/New Zealand category.
Set in provincial Australia in the early sixties, Rain is a multigenerational family saga that chronicles the lives of three generations of the Wallin sawmilling dynasty. It explores the often difficult but enduring ties between mothers and daughters, men and women: the sacrifices, compromises, and patterns of emotion that repeat themselves through generations.
By turn dark and amusing, Rain delivers an emotionally charged revelation about love, loss, guilt, self-discovery and redemption. The enduring question of family bonds—escapable or not, divides, conquers, and triumphs.
"This story broke my heart over and over again, but I thoroughly enjoyed Rain by Leigh K. Cunningham. It's a dark, tragic story, and all too real for those who know and understand loss and grief. Beautiful writing, a compelling story, and interesting characters make this a book I can thoroughly recommend."
"This family saga began to draw me in from the first page, and by the end of the first chapter, I was hooked. Leigh has a way with words that I loved. Her talent had me re-reading many of her sentences because they were so well done. I wished I'd written them myself. Such as, 'He had crossed the line: the one that separated justifiable wrong and unforgivable sin.' And, 'So many people wise about death, even though they had no personal experience with it, for if they knew death, as Helen now did, they would also know that a blade wounded, a stab into the heart was fatal, and time had just two hands, and was not a father.'
"This is a moving story of a woman's final triumph over adversity, and the lessons she learned along the way from the past - the misfortunes of her mother and grandmother, and the misadventure of her siblings. I loved, loved, loved this story, and thoroughly recommend it to others who enjoy reading about human frailties, relationships, and journeys to places you might not want to go."
"I'm a long-time lover of the traditional epic family saga and this one does not disappoint. There's a lot happening in this story from chapter to chapter but it flows naturally, and the author's style is calm and understated—there's no drama or emotion in her words even though it's an emotional story. I'm not sure how this is achieved but I like it; the emotion you feel when reading this story comes from within."
I also enjoyed the Australian setting, just as I used to enjoy the Irish settings in Maeve Binchy's books.
Lovers of stories about family relationships and all the complications that go with them will enjoy Rain."
"Abuse—psychological, physical, and sexual—dominates Cunningham's story. And yet all of her characters—no matter how possible it is to say they invite their own grief—are sympathetic. This reader wanted each of them to succeed, even as he grew in his knowledge that most of them wouldn't.
"I purchased this as a kindle book with some trepidation since I was not familiar with the author or her work and no one I knew had read the book. I was more than pleasantly surprised. I ended up reading the entire book in one day, it was so good I couldn't put it down!"
"Beautiful writing, a compelling story, and interesting characters make this a book I can thoroughly recommend."
"If you look at how much pain and suffering movie producers tend to like, I would not be surprised if this story ends up on a big screen somewhere. They would need to hand out tissues! Highly recommended."
"Rain" is filled with tragedy: death, infidelity, divorce, sibling rivalry, addiction, despair, isolation, and loss, but ultimately, this is a story about eternal love and a triumph for the human spirit. I absolutely loved it!"
Cover design by Elizabeth Botté
"I finished your book—it was great! I wasn't expecting all the journal entries from Carl. I liked the way and style in which you write. Very inspiring."
"This is not my usual type of story so no one was more surprised than me at how enjoyable this story was to read. It's full of the suspense I crave in mystery/thrillers.
Tom C. Cole
"This book was one I just couldn't put down. It's beautiful writing, subdued, gentle but distant yet you 'feel' all of it."
Alison M. Webster
"This is a sad and sometimes tough book to read but I found it difficult to put down and was readily called back to my Kindle by this haunted family.
"The story moves through the generations and, as you would expect from a family saga, there's plenty of saga. For some, it might be too much pain and suffering, but for others who like a story to be packed with action and emotion, you will love it as I did."
"I loved this book. It's a beautiful story about loss and grief and the dark places it can take you. The writing style was also a treat, lilting and twisting but to-the-point and emotionless, which is an unusual combination. Great story. Hoping for a sequel!"