Rainy Lake Rendezvous
Independently Published (2020)
Reviewed by Mark Sneed for Reader Views (12/2020)
“Rainy Lake Rendezvous” by Janet Kay is three stories in one. There is the “obsessed ex-husband still smitten by his ex despite his behavior” story. There is the “ex-wife and new husband living on the Canadian border on an island and raising their incredibly bright ten-year-old son who does not look like either of his parents” story. Then there is the “quirky ten-year-old boy living with his family on the island and his unusual fascination with stars” story.
Rob, the incredibly troubled abusive ex-husband finds himself on the lam, running away from his past life and toward what he believes was his true love. Rob is the continual threat throughout the novel, the villain of the story and the one with the most development. He is imperfect. He is a criminal but attempting to change. I like the bad boy.
Beth, Seth, and Jason, who live on an island on Rainy Lake, have a secret. It seems almost obvious now, in hindsight. Beth, when the story begins, seems at peace after her abusive relationship. Seth, the artist, tries to teach his son of the land they live in. The ten-year-old’s brilliance is interesting. As a character I found Jason strangely unique compared to everyone else in the novel. He is nothing like anyone he calls family. It is an interesting writer’s choice. All the characters find themselves intertwined in a story of love, secrets, and lies. To add to building tension there is a kidnapping, which drives most of the action.
There are some incredible emotional swings in the novel. The battle for redemption is heavy in “Rainy Lake Rendezvous.” The fight for family swirls around the novel. The book plays with the concept of family and it is the idea of family which holds my attention as a reader. The story details and descriptions are fresh and enjoyable. I really enjoyed the travel and camping imagery.
The family reveals are good and believable. I liked the book and wished there were more play of the unknown and mystical elements in the story. I think the ideas are there but never felt the mystic element was developed fully. That is my only real criticism.
“Rainy Lake Rendezvous” is the follow up to Janet Kay’s “Waters of the Dancing Sky.” It is a good, light read.