Northern Rain by Nicole Clarkston is the first variation of North and South that I have read and I cannot be happier to have started with this book. I was very lucky to win an e-book on a giveaway organised on an amazing blog that I follow: From Pemberley to Milton. I highly recommend you to check it out.
It is a tender story where you can see John’s powerful feelings and even teasing moments. At the same time, Margaret is even more selfless and generous than in the original book.
Everything starts in a raining day, 17th October, when we can find Mr. Thornton in deep reflexion looking at his father’s tombstone.
Margaret Hale sees him and even with all the awkwardness she feels, her generous heart binds her to show comfort to that man that makes her uncomfortable after everything that they have already lived together. John is moved by other things apart from the anniversary of his father’s death. His mind and heart go back to the only woman he will only love and of a sudden, she appears next to him much to his chagrin but also to his delight.
This first encounter works little miracles as Margaret sees a different side of John and also John battles between pleasure and discomfiture because he knows that he still loves her even if she dislikes him so much as to refuse him plainly “three months, twelve days, and four hours” ago (Mr. Thornton, Northern Rain).
As the Spanish saying says “familiarity creates affection”, that is exactly what happens with these two lovely characters. They see each other more and they start sharing precious time together. There are many great moments shared and a few previous misunderstandings that get clear during this book, for instance, the mysterious man at the train station. I have liked how John gets to know the truth and how that leads to the high point to their relationship, or the starting point, that is just a very endearing scene in the kitchen, maybe similar to this one:
Fortunately, they start understanding each other:
Where at first she had seen only a man business, set upon bending the world to his will, she now saw a quite different person.
(…) he began to truly comprehend the oppressive weight placed upon Margaret’s fine shoulders.
When they become sort of friends, complications appear to make this pair suffer and it does not look good at all: problems at Marlborough Mills, charity fraud involving Margaret, explosions with casualties, a raider only interested on his own profit that would give his own daughter to enhance his benefits, untrusting police, health problems, and a bit more!!
There is a happy ending but how will they overcome all the problems and obstacles?
You need to read Northern Rain, it is a great book and you will adore the epilogue!!
cover picture from amazon.com