Raine, Raine Went Away by Katherine T. Vaughan
(Fiction / Women)
This thoughtful novel powerfully displays the monstrous burden that is early-onset Alzheimer’s – while also tackling other pertinent mental health themes. In the story, protagonist Raine Moss feels like she found the man of her dreams – Hartley. He came at the perfect time, and gently pieced her shattered life back together. But after the court declares Raine incompetent with early-onset Alzheimer’s and dementia, Hartley’s abusive side shows its ugly face.
The book makes it clear that there is fine line between charm and deception. Raine is slowly losing her mind, and only her sister Dorsey suspected it was due to something other than illness. When Raine suddenly inherits the family’s ancestral home in North Georgia, Hartley’s true colors begin to show. He threatens to sell it. Dorsey sees through Hartley’s deception – and is fully aware that the decision is to settle gambling debts.
As the novel plays out, Dorsey and family battle Hartley in court to gain control of both Raine and their beloved farm, Thimbleberry. Throughout the journey, Raine is also fighting to regain her health through friendship and the healing act of gardening. Raine rekindles a friendship with her cousin, Etta and soothes her soul with every moment she spends in their magnificent garden. Although life seemed to be on a steep decline, she finds herself in an empowering phase of life – growing, living, and loving.
The novel is profound in its ability to parallel Raine’s healing journey alongside the dark threat of her once loving husband. As his fiendish business plan unfolds, he and his sinister cohorts know they can’t risk a moment of Raine’s lucidity.
Author Kathy Vaughan flexes her literary muscles throughout the entire book. While chronicling a compelling story, she crafts relatable and complex characters who propel the story forward. The novel certainly strikes a chord with those who have experienced the heart wrenching realities of Alzheimer’s and its collateral damage that darkens so many lives. Raine, Raine Went Away takes you on a journey that many will find relatable, and all will find compelling.
In the book, we are reminded that life can be painful. Time can bring illness, pain, and trauma – both physical and mental. But, despite the struggles, healing is within reach. We can heal through the simplest acts, like rekindling a friendship or tending to a garden.
Kathy Vaughan is also the author of two other bestselling books – How to Tame a Wild Bore and From Debutante to Doublewide. You can follow her work by visiting her website and blog here.