As with The Cottage, this book by Gerri Hill made me cry again. And I really never cry when reading a book. Well, almost never then. Somehow Gerri Hill manages to strike that particular chord with me. At least After the Summer Rain did.
Erin Ryder is a workaholic and after she gets dumped by her girlfriend, her work ethic increases even more. So much so that it becomes dangerous for her health. Her family intervenes and sends her to the Eagle Bluff Ranch, a remote New Mexico ranch, to recover. There she will stay with Melanie West for three months.
Melanie is by far the youngest on the ranch that is exclusively inhabited and run by women. Melanie ran away from the world a while ago and retired to the ranch. She supports herself by growing all her food herself and has milk and eggs from her goat and chickens. She leads an isolated life from the outside world and wouldn’t want it any other way. Her quiet life is disrupted by the skittish Erin who doesn’t want to be where her family has sent her.
But Melanie has to endure Erin’s stay. All residents of the ranch take someone into their home for a few days a year to cover the costs of the ranch. It’s Melanie’s turn and can’t get out of it. Erin doesn’t know what hit her. She goes from one extreme to the other. From her extremely busy business life to the extremely quiet environment of the ranch and Melanie’s simple life.
It takes a while, but Erin is increasingly surrendering to the simple life with Melanie. She helps her grow and take care of the food. And enjoys the beautiful nature more and more. Melanie, in turn, allows Erin more and more and she opens up about her life and why she ended up on the ranch. Slowly but surely, the women draw closer to each other and end up in bed together. But whether that’s enough for Erin to change her life 360 degrees remains to be seen.
This novel. The feeling of daring to let go completely, of surrender, of being overwhelmed by simple things, nature that is just always there. Being open to change. For me, those are the things that trigger a deep longing. And if you can’t have those things for whatever reason, how wonderful is it that you can at least read about it and get lost in it. Even if it’s just for a while. I highly recommend this book ❤️!