Review: Two Years, No Rain by Shawn Klomparens

coverTwo Years, No Rain by Shawn Klomparens is a fitting book for me to review right now, as the first rainstorm of the year blew through today.  After digging out the umbrellas and dusting off the boots it occurred to me that the kids probably wouldn’t fit into any of their rain gear.  Yes, it has been that long since we’ve had rain.  I can’t remember the last time we had measurable rainfall in Southern California, but it was probably back in March or April.

The weather is used as a metaphor in Two Years, No Rain.  Andy Dunne is a weatherman on the radio but his job is a bit dull and predictable, what with the ever-present sunshine and mild temps in San Diego County.  Not only has the climate been dry; Andy’s career and personal life have gone through a long drought as well.  But the storm clouds of change are looming on the horizon…

Andy’s marriage has failed after his wife cheated on him repeatedly.   Even so, he feels responsible because he hasn’t been an attentive husband.  For the last two years he’s been pining away for a married colleague, Hillary.  Late night phone calls with wine glasses in hand (drunk dialing?) and frequent texting (“What are you wearing?”) are as far as the relationship has gone, but there’s an emotional investment here that he can’t deny.

Hillary sets him up on an interview for a new children’s TV show similar to Blues Clues and he lands the job.  He starts a workout regime in order to prepare for his on-air gig and within weeks he looks and feels better than ever and is being recognized whenever he goes out, and not just by kids.  Hot young moms all over town want to buy him a drink or get his autograph.  He likes the attention to a point but is mostly uninterested and wants to be with Hillary.  He’s waited for her (and the rain) for a very long time.

Hillary’s husband has taken notice of all the messages between them and tells Andy to back off.  The indignant Hillary tells her husband she can be friends with whoever she wants, and soon Andy and Hillary have regular lunch dates and are getting cozier and cozier.  However Hillary is inconsistent (come here.. go away.. come here.. go away) and Andy is confused.  Hillary’s husband is neglectful and often absent, making her open to Andy’s attentions at times but also leaving her with guilt over their relationship.

Andy drinks too much, makes some poor choices, gets really angry,  holds a grudge,   passes out, falls down, ignores health warnings, finds success, carries on with a married woman, and buries his true feelings.  He’s also sweet, wounded, vulnerable, a good uncle, and a nice guy.  In other words, he’s a very realistic and relatable character.

I liked Andy and hoped he would figure everything out, but he also frustrated me.  He wasn’t exactly a man of action.  He was rather passive and just let things happen to him,.  I wanted him to be more of a take charge guy; more John Wayne, less.. I don’t know.  I’m trying to think of an actor that’s kind of bland.   He had a certain charm, especially in the scenes with his niece, and I did like him, but I was really waiting for him to be a more manly man.  But that was not to be.

I enjoyed Two Years, No Rain.  It was unusual reading a chick-lit style book with a guy as the main character.  That was a first for me and it was a refreshing change of pace. There were funny moments, good dialogue, and unusual situations.  If you like chick lit, but are looking for something a little different,  give this one a try!

A bunch of us discussed this book over the summer.  Check out this post to see the comments.  You can visit the author’s website and learn more about his work HERE.

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Book Soup

Well, the storm has begun. ABC7’s Meteorologist Dallas Raines (I’ve been in love with him for 20 years) predicts four days of rain. Tonight will be a good night to stay in, eat, and read.

There is nothing like a hearty soup and crusty bread on a rainy evening. In celebration of National Soup Month (who knew?), we had minestrone soup for dinner tonight. I made it in the crockpot, which I highly recommend to all busy parents, because you can leave the house, come back, and it seems like someone else made dinner for you (the likelihood of that happening in my house is about a gazillion to one, but it does seem like that when you first open the door to the aroma of something yummy).  So when we got home at 4:30 this afternoon, the house smelled heavenly, and the kids were walking around saying, “Mmmmmm, what’s for dinner?”

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Now that we’ve eaten, and we’re all fat and happy, we’re settling in for a quiet evening. I can hear the rain coming down, and it’s a comforting sound, except for the fact that my husband isn’t home from work yet and will have to drive in it. He has a 45 mile commute, but it’s late and he’s missed rush hour, so hopefully it won’t be too bad.

The kids are in their jammies watching The Discovery Channel’s Man vs. Wild with Bear Grylls. They are huge fans. I hope to finish off Summer People by Brian Groh. I just have 50 pages left. I can’t wait to be done with it and start something else. It’s not a bad book, but it’s not the most exciting book out there, either. It’s been enjoyable but I’m ready to move on. I have to finish it for my book club meeting next weekend.

I have a stack of new books calling to me, begging to be read. Which one will be next? A Thousand Splendid Suns is jumping up and down, shouting, “Pick me! Pick me!” The Red Tent looks embarrassed to be seen with such a shameless hussy. Me Talk Pretty One Day is blatant, saying, “You know you want me” and he’s right, I do. The Time Traveler’s Wife has been patiently waiting for weeks. Her time will come. Interpreter of Maladies is new, having just arrived in his amazon.com box on my doorstep today, and is alluring for his sleek, slim look. Decisions, delicious decisions.