by Greg Gifune
May, 2013, eBook $2.99
Review by Kat Yares
It takes a special kind of writer to deliver a full story in novella form, yet Mr. Gifune has done exactly that in House of Rain. While only approximately 80 pages, the story he tells pulls you in immediately and doesn’t let you go – even after you’ve closed the ebook on your reader.
House of Rain tells the story of Gordon Cole, former Vietnam veteran and now a lonely, sad and troubled old man. His one reason to live, his wife Katy, died a year before this story takes place. Now Gordon mostly lives in flashbacks; of the war, of happier days with his wife, and a crime committed long ago. When the rains begin to fall – this is where Mr. Gifune will pull you in – you begin living every experience along with Gordon. Like Gordon, you will never know what is true, what is memory or what is real.
Every word in this short novella appears to have been chosen for the impact it brings. Every character has a specific reason. Even at the end, you can only hope that you have a friend as loyal and true as Harry. Although by the end of this tale, you may wonder if Harry ever really existed.
This is not a tale for the timid or those that have a weak stomach. The author will take you to dark places that you will not be sure you can return from. Unlike many stories, he doesn’t wrap everything up in a nice, happy package at the end. Instead he leaves you, the reader, to draw your own conclusions. Which, in my case, changed several times over as many days.
I don’t know how old Greg Gifune is, but he has an amazing ability to use his words to help the reader visualize and feel Gordon’s pain, grief, old age and imagined guilt’s. It is a talented writer that can combine horror with empathy and compassion.
I had not read anything by this author before, but I assure you I will again. One thing I will say, though, this is not a novella to read while it is storming outside. Or maybe it is, maybe that is why the story became so up close and personal. Or maybe it is because, I too, am getting older and have some personal demons of my own.