Wind Of The Spirit
Caroline Friday

Caroline Friday is a novelist and award winning screenwriter with eleven screenplays. Her adaptation of No Place for a Lady, by Maggie Brendan, has been optioned by Starz Media for distribution on the Hallmark Channel. In addition, her script, Angels on Earth, placed second-runner up in the 2008 Kairos Screenwriting Competition sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation. She recently completed her first novel, The River Flows, based on her script by the same name. She currently serves as attorney, co-founder and EVP of Sixth Day Media, LLC, a faith-based and family film finance and production company headquartered near Atlanta. Caroline has a Business Administration degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a Juris Doctor in Law (JD) and an (MBA) from Wake Forest University. Affiliations include Women in Film, American Christian Fiction Writers, the American Bar Association, and the Illinois State Bar Association. Caroline is also a Stephen Minister and a Bible study teacher. She resides in Marietta, Georgia, with her husband, Bill, three children, Anna, Braxton, and Rachel, and yellow lab Dodga. She can be found at

Wrapped in Rain

by Charles Martin

As a reader of Christian fiction, I feel as though I have discovered buried treasure in the writing of Charles Martin. Reminiscent of a Pat Conroy novel, Wrapped in Rain has all the elements of a Southern gothic tale not unlike The Prince of Tides. It is a story of a horrific childhood and an unspeakable, singular, horrifying event that mars the psyche of two brothers, sending one into the throes of mental illness and the other into a secluded life where fame and fortune do nothing to assuage the memory. Only the constant, steadfast, and godly love from one unlikely woman provides a beacon of hope, saving the brothers from spiraling down into the mire of death and destruction.

The story is told from the prospective of Tucker Mason, a famous photographer who is not only haunted by memories of the abuses from a wealthy yet alcoholic father, Rex, but also comforted by the recollections of the loving, kind words from his surrogate mother figure, Miss Ella Rain, an African American housekeeper whom he referred to as “Mama Rain.”

Told through flashbacks, Miss Ella suffers horrendous violence at the hand of Rex, yet maintains her vigilant decision to stay at Waverly Hall and raise Tucker and his half-brother, Mutt, in the ways of Christian love and forgiveness. She constantly spouts words of wisdom, all directly from Scripture, and every moment she isn’t in the kitchen or doing laundry or helping the boys with some task, she is on her knees praying to the Lord. Leaving Tucker and Mutt is never an option in her mind, regardless of the consequences. She is the picture of the Savior—sacrificing her own wishes, desires, and personal safety because of her love for others—but cleverly packaged in the middle-aged, old-maid body of an African American servant who wants nothing more than to serve. This is what gives Wrapped in Rain its power.

Sure the romance between Tucker and his old girlfriend, Katie, is interesting, as are the quirky mannerisms and fetishes of the

bi-polar Mutt—and even the tender, loving father-son relationship Tucker has with Katie’s little boy. But nothing compares to the relationship Tucker has with Miss Ella, even though she is long gone by the time the story opens. Her voice lives on in Tucker’s heart and soul, luring him to a place of freedom, where he can finally fulfill Miss Ella’s greatest desire: forgive his father, Rex. Once Tucker is able to do that, Miss Ella has accomplished her primary mission.

As you can tell, I fell head over heels in love with Miss Ella. I can visualize her dark, strong arms wrapped tightly around little Tucker’s pale, tear-streaked face after getting a beating from Rex, whispering God’s Word and praying a blessing over him, and I see only one actress in my mind who could play this role: Queen Latifah. Just like her character in The Secret Life of Bees, she has the perfect combination of tenderness and strength to bring Miss Ella to life, but not as a victim. It is important that Miss Ella be portrayed as the epitome of the true hero, a task Queen Latifah could handle hands down.

With the depth of character and amount of plot development in this story—from the evil Rex, the beautiful, yet tormented Katie, as well as the antics from Mutt, all set in the background of a spooky, Southern mansion—I can say as a screenwriter that there are wonderful elements here to craft a script that would do very well theatrically. Added to all of this is the unusual element of Tucker literally hearing Miss Ella speak to him from the spirit, a nuance which could lend additional drama to a screen adaptation. I have read quite a few Christian novels over the years that would make great films, but this one stands head and shoulders above most as having the sufficient conflict needed for Hollywood to take notice. I understand Mr. Martin’s first book was optioned for production on the Hallmark Channel, but I do hope this one goes all the way to the silver screen. Stay tuned, and we shall see . . .