by BA Austin
The biggest spectacle mankind can witness is mankind itself. Within every drop of life in an endless ocean of time lives a whole universe, and we are often gifted with the chance of having a glimpse into that universe when reading a good biography.
Now add masterful writing skills to it, paired with several small tales that are mended together as a homely yet detailed patchwork quilt, and you have a truly unique experience.
Smell the Raindrops: One young woman’s journey through life, love and recovery, B. A. Austin describes her early perceptions of the world – in a country that had just started to try to abolish segregation, the very first steps of it.
As a pivotal part of those perceptions, Karine, a black lady who tended for little Bethany Ann, remained as the core of her views, a model of love and acceptance that framed the author’s emotions for life.
Through reading the book, we come to learn that the author’s relatives had always been prone to cases of “funny breath” – a euphemism from the 1950s, an era of social appearances and problems hidden behind walls – and the troubles that the addiction brought upon them. After her dear mother passed away, Austin sees herself taken by the very same affliction and has to redefine herself in order to keep on fighting and to one day encounter the pearly gates of Heaven, so often mentioned by sweet Karine.
That is Smell the Raindrops, by author B. A. Austin, who allows us to witness her life, struggles, and joyful moments not only with our eyes, but also with very vivid sounds, scents, and warmth – and, in an act of courage and humility, with tears. By doing so, we also catch a good look at the timeframe between the 1950s and today and how the increasingly intense changes in the US and the world came to affect the author.
– The Moving Words Review
– Official Entry: The Most Moving Book Award, Jan. 3, 2022
About the Author
Pacific Book Finalist Awardee, B. A. Austin is an independent art history lecturer with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bowdoin College and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Memphis.
She has served as an adjunct professor of art history at the University of San Diego. In Europe, she completed in-depth studies on a number of subjects including renaissance architecture, and she is proficient in French. After living in Tennessee, Maine, and California, Ms. Austin created this memoir-style work of fiction based on her observations and impressions, capturing the nuance of each location along with its rich