The heart of the book isn’t the feckless minister named Noah, but his nameless spouse, “Noah’s wife.” For much of the story, her faith in her husband is so steadfast that even when tested, she harbors the fear that “if she did not have someone there to really … need her – then she would simply disappear.”
A new ministerial post leads the couple to a mountain village where the rain has been crashing down for years, the previous minister having ended his life by walking into the river. The townspeople grasp their umbrellas, living in wet clothes and denial that everything will eventually be washed away. That Noah’s wife will step out of her husband’s shadow to help is inevitable. But we follow anyway, the writing absorbing and characters as colorful as the setting is bleak.