When Nathan and Leah meet in Silva Landing, on the Sunshine Coast, in 1913, it is love at first sight; but they find their passion tested at every turn. Leah engages in a battle of wills with her mother, who feels she is too young for a serious relationship and ships her off to a convent school in Vancouver; Nathan wants a university education almost as much as he wants Leah; both of them struggle to suppress their desire for each other until they are truly ready to start a family. The lovers manage to flee in Nathan's tiny boat and to spend a few idyllic weeks alone together, exploring the spectacular coves, beaches, estuaries and islands of the west coast. But even the wild, convoluted Inside Passage cannot hide them forever -- they are caught and taken back to Silva Landing. Leah is sent off to nursing school and then, when World War I breaks out, to a hospital near Etaples, France. Nathan, a conscientious objector, goes to work logging Sitka spruce on the central coast for a surly, tight-fisted gyppo logger. From opposite sides of the world, the lovers exchange letters when they can, living on hope and memories.
When Leah is discharged from her duties overseas and Nathan is injured in a horrific logging accident, they are reunited in Silva Landing. But a new challenge awaits them despite his best efforts, Nathan is conscripted into the Canadian army. The young couple have fought their parents, their society and even their own desire to make a life together, and now they must engage in a life-or-death struggle with their government and the Great War itself.
"As the number of Canadian soldiers killed in combat in Afghanistan climbs, Canadians are asking--why go to war? That question, and what Michael Poole describes as the enduring stigma of desertion in World War I, are the basis for Rain by Morning, an old fashioned romance of lovers in a dangerous time... Poole has provided us with much to think about when considering the overseas conflicts of today... A welcome novel of ideas."
- Grant Shilling, BC Bookworld--BC Bookworld
"Moves briskly on the strength of sharp description, episodic suspense and an unerring ear for dialogue. Poole is especially good at weather and seascape and wild coastal terrain -- they take on the feel of well-wrought characters... Riding its author's strong feelings, the novel leaps abruptly to its climax. What stayed with me was the love story: Two people haunted and hounded, imperfectly sustaining each other, making their way through a beautiful and treacherous landscape."
- Jim Bartley, The Globe & Mail--The Globe & Mail
"Michael Poole's debut successfully weaves romance, war and atmospheric natural settings into a page turning narrative."
--Tara Lee, Quill & Quire--Quill & Quire