The Way Rain Falls

By Mathew Michael Hodges

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It’s 1998, and Jim Diffin is a charming, reckless, college sophomore with a unique moral code, a crew of wild friends, and no interest in serious relationships. That is, until he meets Diana Huntington, a precocious teenager who doesn’t fall for him so easily and embodies everything he’s ever wanted. The longer they date, the more her cool aloofness entrances him.

His friends, a memorably eclectic mix of social outcasts offer no shortage of dubious advice and the usual relief of tea with his mother will lose its typical solace once he learns she has worse troubles herself.

And while comforting his mother, weighing the insights of his friends, and agonizing over Diana, his mindset opens to a new way, but can his compassion, patience and burgeoning enlightenment ever win him the girl?

In the course of The Way Rain Falls, blind hope and frenzied despair send Jim careening from candle-lit dinners to street fights, intimate camp-outs to a drug fueled road trip to Canada, and an indiscretion Jim may never live down.



The Way Rain Falls is a marvelous debut novel that impressively situates itself in the vein of a Rhode Island minded Salinger. With wit, and a dash of the understated poetic, Mathew Michael Hodges presents a world where a flawed character can become sublime.

– -David Tomas Martinez, author of Post Traumatic Hood Disorder

The Way Rain Falls is a sizzling novel that never lets up. Hodges deftly explores the consequences of pursuing a first love at a hundred miles an hour. The weight of betrayal, the pulse of regret. His characters breathe alcohol and spit testosterone, often inhabiting an electrifying world of fists, brews, lust, and loud music. Jim, our protagonist, admirably pursues intimacy on the wings of faith as he tries to dispel the symmetry between himself and his son-of-a-bitch father. Teatimes with his mother are a charming reprieve from the chaos, signaling the undercurrents of hope that bleed through Jim’s season of pain.

– –Jonathan Starke, author of You’ve Got Something Coming and founding editor of Palooka

Jim "The Diff" Diffin is indifferent. To women, a career path, whatever (a word rife for time period the novel is set in, often evoking the spirit of Douglas Copeland's Gen X-centric work). A languid lothario who grooves to Beastie Boys' "Girls" in between loosely pining for ones that don't really have an interest in him (he'll find another). The type of guy who rightly declares, "Fuck a real job." A sentiment befitting Jim's seemingly apathetic universe. Thanks to Hodges's deft prose, our antihero comes to life as a shining example of the last semi-pure human need: to love and be loved. The problem, as usual, is that when he actually gives someone a chance, it ends up feeling both unshakably unrequited... and synthetic. Struggling with the notion of being alone and continuing to "sow his oats" versus staying in a loveless (and, more to the point, sexless) relationship, Jim faces the same challenging decision we must all reconcile with at some point: Is it better to be alone than lonely with the one you love?

– -Genna Rivieccio, Editor-in-Chief of The Opiate magazine

The Way Rains Falls presents Jim Diffin, a protagonist who is worried about becoming the genetic shadow of his father, and it follows him through his own self-identity and his follies of young love. It's a beautifully engaging book, offering nostalgic details of New England life and the brutal realities of growing up. I loved every page.

– -Brendan Praniewicz, author of Beat It

In The Way Rain Falls, Mathew Michael Hodges gives the reader an unflinching, gritty, booze-fueled look at the adolescent American male in his natural habitat: clubs, house parties and bedrooms. Through this fast-paced narrative, Hodges allows us to explore the meaning of heartbreak, friendship, family and the quest to find meaning in it all. His characters are authentic voices that allow the reader to revisit a moment in time when all we wanted was to find out who we were and who was there to love us at the end.

– -Joseph Kane, author of Sarafish