I picked the Kindle version of this book for free as part of my Amazon Prime membership. The once monthly offer of a free book is nice in one respect because it gets me to read things that are out of my comfort zone. It’s not so nice when you’re a confirmed non-believer and you realize about halfway through the book that you’re reading a Christian novel. I’m sure I selected it because of comparisons to Flannery O’Conner in the reviews but other than taking place in the South and being centered on religion, I really didn’t see much of a similarity. It’s not a bad book overall. If I was any kind of a person of faith, I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more than I did.
Nine year old Leah Norcross has started talking to an imaginary friend that she calls “The Rainbow Man.” The Rainbow Man gives Leah predictions about things that will happen, and when they start coming true, some people in the small town of Mattingly think she’s touched by God. As her visions become darker and don’t pan out the way people think they should, many townsfolk turn against her. Everything culminates in tragedy at the town carnival a week after Leah’s visions begin.
The book was interesting enough that I was fully engaged with it from start to finish but it just wasn’t for me. It’s leans on the old trope of small town folk being mistrustful of outsiders and the main crux of the story seems to be have faith or get yourself smote. But the writing is good and flows nicely. Frankly after several books in a row that I simply couldn’t put down, I was probably due for a dud.