When asked to participate in the blog tour for Two Years, No Rain by Shawn Klomparens (384 pgs, Delta, 2009), I jumped at the chance. It's been awhile since I've read an "adult" book, and this one held lots of promise. So a big Thank You to Shawn Klomparens and to Lisa at TLC Book Tours for allowing me to participate!!
Every time I went out to the car, I'd slide myself in and pull that pack of smokes from the slot in the dash. Without looking at it, staring into the afternoon haze, I'd run my fingertip back and forth over the unopened plastic tab and breathe.
Told in first person narrative, this is the story of Andy Dunne, a weatherman in the drought-stricken Southern California market. As the story opens, Andy's life is taking a turn for the worst. His ex-wife has just moved all the furniture out of their house; he still hasn't gotten over the death of his twin brother; his job as weatherman for the satellite radio station is about to become "redundant"; and the woman he is head-over-heels in love with is married. There is also no end in sight to the almost two year drought in the San Diego area.
But soon enough, opportunities arise for Andy. On a whim (and a little nudge from Hillary, the woman he's fallen for), he auditions for a voice-over role for a new children's show. Not only does he get the part, he becomes the new "face" for the show, aptly entitled 'Andy's Magic Carpet'. Overnight, he becomes a huge success. But does all this success make Andy happy?
Shawn Klomparens has created a wonderful character in Andy. His story is one of self-discovery and growth. Not only is this a love story, it is a story of family ties and grief. Andy is warm and caring, willing to do just about anything for the people that mean the most to him. But he's also quick to avoid not only confrontation but just about anything that reminds him of the brother he lost.
The symbolism in this story all seems to center around the weather...the drought in question parallels Andy's life. The stormy weather could be a metaphor for adultery, which is another theme that is weaved into the story. Just as Andy's marriage is dissolving, we get a peek into Hillary's declining marriage as well. But unlike Andy, I found Hillary to be rather intolerable. We don't get a chance to know her character very well, since all we really see is Andy's version of Hillary. And I disliked her immensely. More apt to play games than show true feelings, Hillary is shallow and selfish. Her character was a real downer for me. And I have to admit, I hated their relationship. Both were very emotionally invested in a relationship outside their own marriages, and as real-life as that is, I don't particularly like reading about it.
All in all, this is a very good character study of Andy. Highly readable, I sailed right through this book, hoping that Andy would get a happy ending. One of the best part of the book for me, is the relationship he has with his teenage niece, Hannah. And it has it's feel-good moments, when you want to stand up and cheer. A recommended read for those of you that like stories that are more about relationships than plot lines; more dialogue than action. 4/5
For more information about Shawn Klomparens, visit his website here.