LSBBT BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: The Rainwater Secret by Monica Shaw (Historical Fiction)

Monica Shaw

Genre: Historical Fiction / Medical Missionaries
Publisher: Self-Published
Date of Publication: March 31, 2017
Number of Pages: 354

Scroll down for the giveaway!

The Rainwater Secret is a deeply moving, historical fiction novel about a woman who travels to Africa to teach the leper children who were banished from their villages.

Single and feeling there is nothing left for her in small-town England, Anna embarks on an adventure as a volunteer teacher with the Medical Missionaries of Mary. Life as Anna has known it is forever changed as she learns the culture that would banish its sick, disfigured, and crippled to the bush. Babies are left to die on roadsides, children are chased away to live by whatever means they can find. The aged are abandoned. Anna’s daily life is an adventure as she travels from one village to another across a hostile land with few passable roads, rickety bridges threatening to fall apart and casting occupants on the jagged rocks far below, and weather that turns a calm river into a roiling death trap. In spite of the trials, Anna also manages to find love and family in this godforsaken land.

Follow this adventure through disease, weather, strife, death, and determination to turn a few acres of land into a loving home for the outcast lepers of Nigeria.


I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.

Set in the 1940s, this was an intensely enlightening and moving look into the life of a young woman who willingly sacrificed any sense of convenience and normalcy to travel with Catholic missionaries into Africa in order to teach in a leper colony. Even more fascinating was the fact that it was largely based on the real life and work of the author’s great-aunt, making this a refreshing and inspiring read about a woman choosing to live beyond herself as she tries to make a difference in a world so far removed from the only life she had ever known. The writing is so detailed and engaging that I oftentimes found myself forgetting that this wasn’t a biography!

Filled with enriching descriptions that take readers across continents, what at first seems like a change of pace for a young woman left reeling from the loss of a suitor gradually encompasses her life and provides new meaning and fulfillment. As she moves beyond mourning, she settles into a life within the jungle that brings about its own drama as well. Each day is filled with hard work, and survival is not guaranteed, but rather than give up or become overwhelmed by the unknown, Anna’s determination and loyalty to her Christian charity provides deep satisfaction at completing the day’s activities, which ultimately ended up spanning decades. Readers are also provided the unique opportunity to gain even more insight into Anna’s perspective when some of her letters to her best friend in England are shared in their entirety. This gives such a complete understanding of Anna’s feelings regarding pivotal moments throughout the course of the story. These snapshots across time bear witness to just how much changes, or in most cases, how much remained the same.

As the years go by, Anna becomes so much more than just a character on the page. She truly comes alive as we celebrate with her victories, cry alongside her near misses, and rally behind her unwavering dedication to bring love and learning to the most unfortunate among us. It is within these pages that the glorious meaning of selfless service is defined. 

There is so much to be both entertained and educated by when reading this book, which is a truly solid example of what compelling historical fiction should be! And I do hope that you take the time to check it out!

Monica Shaw is a native of Dallas, Texas where she has been a successful entrepreneur. She attended St. Thomas Aquinas, graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School, and earned her Geology / Petroleum Engineering degree from UT Austin. Her debut novel, The Rainwater Secret, started off as a personal research project looking into the life of her great aunt who became a missionary teacher. Monica is married with 3 children.

 Website ║ Facebook LinkedIn Twitter ║ Instagram Goodreads Amazon Author Page 


THREE WINNERS!Choice of Signed Print or eBook Copy!
APRIL 23-May 3, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway  Best of luck!

Many thanks to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and Monica Shaw! It was an absolute pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting! And be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions and extras!


Author Video
Bonus Post
Scrapbook Page
Author Interview
Scrapbook Page
Top Six List
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