Trapped Souls, and people who’ll do anything to possess the children they
see as rightfully theirs...
The Rainy Season is another
work like Winter Tides, in which the landscape saturates the story.
Blaylock is well on his way to making his southern California one of those
lands of fiction that can become more real to his readers than their own.
It’s also another story that looks at people so focussed on a particular
desire of their own that they become perverse and destructive.
In The Rainy Season,
photographer Phil Ainsworth and his orphaned niece Betsy find themselves
surrounded by obsessives whose motives they don’t understand. The well
on Phil’s isolated property draws nocturnal prowlers; a priest, Betsy’s
former next-door neighbour, an antiques dealer, and an opportunist are
all looking for memories trapped in small glass objects associated with
the well; and there’s a dowser offering to look for bones. A century before,
there were two young women, two young men, and the leader of a religious
cult, all struggling for the soul of a young girl. The two stories are
one, and as the antiques dealer and the motherhood-obsessed neighbour
close in on Betsy, Phil begins to understand things about his family that
he’d long ago given up questioning.
Blaylock does a great job with
Betsy, in particular. She’s a solemn, thoughtful, intelligent nine year
old, mature and childish at once, and utterly believable.