‘Rain Dragon’ by Jon Raymond

Amy and Damon are trying to start a new life, leaving behind ho-hum jobs in Los Angeles and visiting organic farms and small sustainable businesses in Oregon to see where they fit in.

Their relationship is on rocky ground, too, and they are hoping the fresh start will save them.

Narrated by Damon, the story is full of beautiful descriptions of the countryside, but doesn’t connect me at all to the characters. I never once felt I understood why Damon wanted to stay with Amy. She’s not an interesting character, nor a sympathetic one.

After they arrive at Rain Dragon farm, Amy fits right in and becomes a beekeeper, but Damon has trouble finding a spot, being inept at farming, carpentry and other chores. Then the owner, Peter, taps him for advertising and marketing. Damon, who had previously done accounting for an ad firm, shows he has talent for this new work, but he doesn’t seem to enjoy it, so the reader feels no excitement for the story.

Amy decides that she “needs her space,” and they split, but both continue on at the farm.

Will they get back together? This question forms the basis of the second half of the book, but I didn’t care too much how it ended. Damon and Peter launch a big project to give seminars on their business methods. Landing the contract requires spying, subterfuge and lying, qualities Damon seems to summon up easily.

As I said, not very sympathetic or interesting characters. The book blurb called this a fresh and searching story, but I wasn’t impressed.

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