Rose finds comfort in two things: homonyms and her dog Rain. When a fierce storm rips through her sleepy northern town, her dog disappears. Rose enacts a plan to find her missing companion, but along the way she learns about empathy for others in her community who’ve lost homes and family in the hurricane.
It’s difficult not to compare this novel with others with a similar narrator. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime particularly came to mind. Martin’s tale is a lot more kid friendly. The plot is simpler but its characters remain complex and layered.
Through the endearing behavior of her protagonist, Martin encourages readers to develop empathy and explore a way of thinking which may be foreign to many of us. We begin to experience Rose simply as a girl who loves a dog. We see past her diagnosis into her heart, and this is the greatest triumph an author can hope to impart to her readers. This is a great story for middle or upper elementary-aged students.
Rose’s father regularly comes home drunk. She finds it best to leave him alone when he’s in this condition, but still sometimes he says unkind things to her.