‘Nothing but the Rain’: a chilling dystopian tale of loss

August 22, 2023

TITLE: Nothing but the Rain
AUTHOR: Naomi Salman
GENRE: Dystopia/Horror
PAGES: 96pg

A sleepy little town discovers its memories have become part of the water cycle in Naomi Salman’s debut novella, Nothing but the Rain.

The rain in Aloisville is never-ending, and no one can remember when it started. There’s not much they can remember. With every drop that hits their skin, a bit of memory is washed away. Stay too long in the wet, and you’ll lose everything you used to be.

By the time Laverne begins keeping a journal, the small town she calls home has been irreparably changed. Every drop of water is dangerous, from leaky faucets to the near-constant rainfall, and a careless trip outside can mean a life down the drain. With mysterious forces preventing escape, calls for rebellion seem to be on every resident’s lips. But Laverne has no interest in fighting. She has no interest in rebellion. She just wants to survive.

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This little dystopian horror tale chilled me right to the core. In Aloisville, it’s been raining everyday—how long this has been going on is anyone’s guess, because the rain washes people’s memories away with it. Even a single droplet can erase your morning, and the more the rain touches you, the more it takes away. This novella is told through Laverne’s journal entries as she attempts to find a way to hold on to what is happening, to make sense of it all, and it’s like a trainwreck you just can’t look away from no matter how much it horrifies you.

I loved the fact that this story was told through journal entries, because you know you’re only getting a small portion of the story. Laverne really has no clue what is going on, but she has her theories, and all we can do is guess along with her as more is slowly revealed. Perhaps the most unnerving part of the story for me was how Laverne suspects the government (and maybe even some of the citizens around her) knows more than they’re letting on, because her rage and fear and paranoia are palpable and it’s so easy to imagine ourselves in her shoes.

Laverne herself is a very flawed, yet enjoyable character to read through the lens of. She’s a 63-year-old retired physician who is very bright, capable, and entirely unused to feeling so helpless and oblivious. She comes off as crotchety and irritable most of the time, which added a reality to her character that I loved because it was so easy to imagine meeting someone just like her.

My only complaint about Nothing but the Rain, and the reason I gave it 4 stars despite gushing about it so much, is that it’s too short and would’ve benefited tremendously from being developed into a full novel! I hope that Salman will consider revisiting this world, maybe through a sequel novella, because there are so many questions I want answers to and so much more time I’d like to spend with Laverne.

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy! All thoughts are honest and my own.

content warnings →
WARNINGS (click to expand):

amnesia, memory loss, mentions of dementia, fear, paranoia, death, euthanasia of humans, mentions of abandoned or endangered animals, brief description of pet death (car accident), child endangerment, vague mentions of child death, kidnapping, gaslighting, violence, minor gore

representation →

Laverne and a side character are both Black


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More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Just a horror aficionado/geek girl trying to juggle motherhood, reading, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

    1. I havent read this and now I’m wondering why, it sounds so good! And I also have issues with books that are too short, sometimes the length is perfect but other times you know there is so much more that needs to be said.

      1. It was really good and I hope you enjoy it if you pick it up, too! But yes, I know exactly what you mean – sometimes it’s just a taste and not the whole story, but not necessarily in a good way, lol!

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