A vivid, gripping, emotional, and addictive read, Sudden Rain is also a rare and valuable portrait of an era: the long-lost final manuscript of Maritta Wolff—the author who, at the age of twenty-two, published what Sinclair Lewis deemed "the most important novel of the year," Whistle Stop (1941).
Hailed by Entertainment Weekly as "the Nixon-era precursor to Tom Perrotta's acclaimed novel, Little Children" this is a compelling drama that offers great insight into the nature of marriage -- both then and now.
Now that Sudden Rain has come out of its hiding place -- in Wolff's refrigerator, found after her death -- it remains gloriously frozen in time. Set in the fall of 1972, the novel perfectly captures, with expansive emotion and cinematic detail, the domestic trends of three generations of middle-class couples living in suburban Los Angeles. A brilliant portrait of its burgeoning era, Sudden Rain also offers striking cultural commentary on our everyday notions of love and marriage; individuality, equality, and community; and the promise and pursuit of the American Dream.
Maritta Wolff was born in 1918 in Michigan. Whistle Stop, her first novel, won the Avery Hopwood Award in 1940. A runaway bestseller, the book was also printed as a special Armed Forces edition for American troops during World War II. Whistle Stop was made into a feature film in 1946, starring Ava Gardner. In the next two decades, Ms. Wolff authored more than five novels, but she hid her final, unpublished manuscript in her refrigerator until her death in 2002. Rediscovered, that novel, Sudden Rain, is available from Scribner.
"Miss Wolff is a harshly realistic and accurate observer of American city life." -- The New York Times
"An iconic rendering of middle-class domestic [life]." -- BookPage
"Wolff weaves the era's social upheaval into each foreboding page, but it's her devastating insight into what people say and do...that makes this book a page-turner." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A virtuoso drama." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A deft, accomplished slice of life, a novel that, in its subtle yet unrelenting fashion, peels back the privileged surfaces of its characters to expose them in their complicated humanity." -- Chicago Tribune
"The Nixon-era precursor to Tom Perrotta's Little Children...Sudden Rain proves worthy of its serendipitous discovery." -- Entertainment Weekly