13 November 2018

Today's Read: The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay

All about The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de RosnayIs it ever too late for a family to heal its wounds? When Linden Malegarde returns to Paris to celebrate his father's 70th birthday (immediate family only; no spouses or children), he has little hope, but sometimes life really does offer second chances. Here's how the novel begins (skipping the prologue):

"It's been like this for the past two weeks," says the listless taxi driver. The rain pours down, a silver curtain, hissing, obstructing all daylight. It is only ten o'clock in the morning, but to Linden, it feels like dusk glimmering with wetness. The taxi driver says he wants to move away for good, flee Paris, find the sun, go back to balmy Martinique, where he is from. As the car leaves Charles de Gaulle Airport and edges along the jammed highway and ring road that circles the city, Linden cannot help agreeing with him. The sodden suburbs are dismal, clustered contours of cubic volumes bedecked with garish neon billboards flickering in the drizzle. He asks the driver to turn on the radio, and the man comments upon his perfect French, "for an American." Linden grins. This happens every time he returns to Paris. He replies he's Franco-American, born in France, French father, American mother, he speaks both languages fluently, with no accent at all. How about that, eh? The driver chortles, fumbles with the radio, well monsieur certainly looks like an American, doesn't he, tall athletic, jeans, sneakers, not like those Parisians with their fancy ties and suits.
The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay (St. Martin's Press, October, page 5)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: modern times, mostly Paris
  • Circumstances: After the Malegarde family reunites in Paris to celebrate the patriarch's 70th birthday, family secrets threaten to be exposed as the waters of the Seine begin to flood the city. The father is an arborist who seems to love his trees more than he does people. The mother just wants everyone to be happy. Linden believes he's let his parents down, despite his success as a photographer, and his older sister is entangled in an unhappy marriage. A family tragedy combined with the worst flooding in a century, weaken the family's barriers, and long-buried or unacknowledged truths must be confronted.
  • Genre: contemporary literary fiction
  • Themes: secrets, family, LGBTQ+, alcoholism, climate change, redemption
  • Why I want to read this book: I like de Rosnay's writing and the fact that this novel addresses contemporary issues, family dynamics, and how childhood trauma--if allowed to fester--can affect us throughout our lives.
  • The structure of the novel: The book is told from two perspectives. One is the story of the birthday reunion and the Paris flood; the other is told through the father's diary. Also note that this is not a feel-good, escape story, but a book that deals with real life.
  • An extra: if you understand French, here  is a video in which de Rosnay talks about her new novel.
  • Acknowledgments: thanks to St. Martin's for the finished copy of Tatiana de Rosnay's The Rain Watcher.


Laurel-Rain Snow 11/13/18, 7:30 AM  

I love the sound of this one. Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “THE FAMILY AT NO. 13”

Daryl 11/13/18, 8:01 AM  

a friend recently said very aptly that no one goes to Paris for the weather ...

did you recommend Mark Lawrence's The Red Sister? its fabulous ... i am now into The Grey Sister ....

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 11/13/18, 8:08 AM  

I love when I find a book with an older protagonist these days -- it's rare--This one sounds good.

Lisbeth 11/13/18, 10:06 AM  

Sounds like an interesting read. Something to add for my to read list. I like the description of the rain!

Laura 11/13/18, 11:48 AM  

I like the description in your excerpt. Sounds like the day we had yesterday with rain from when we got up until we went to bed - a gray day. My Teaser

Catherine @ Book Club Librarian 11/13/18, 12:39 PM  

I hadn't realized she had written another book. I like the premise and the cover, so on my reading list it goes!

Sue Jackson 11/13/18, 12:51 PM  

I reviewed this one for Shelf Awareness & enjoyed it. Coincidentally, I read it during a week of heavy rain & storms here (that all that coincidental given how much rain we've had here this year!), so it felt even more atmospheric.


Book By Book

Yvonne 11/13/18, 1:42 PM  

This one sounds really good. I'm adding it to my wishlist.

Laura 11/13/18, 3:06 PM  

This has the makings of a good movie. I enjoy stories about family dynamics. I hope you enjoy:)

My TT from The Box Of Bones

Girl Who Reads 11/13/18, 5:56 PM  

Susan reviewed this book and enjoyed it. I think it sounds good too. Thanks for stopping by Girl Who Reads.

bermudaonion 11/13/18, 8:15 PM  

I'm excited about this one.

Mae Travels 11/13/18, 8:48 PM  

Tatiana de Rosnay's "Sarah's Key" was a good read -- this sounds like it would be good too. I didn't know she had written so many books.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Nise' 11/13/18, 10:03 PM  

Sounds great. Gorgeous cover.

KB 11/14/18, 1:16 AM  

Sounds wonderful. Being mainly set in Paris would be a huge draw card for me

Marg 11/16/18, 7:03 AM  

I have owned Sarah's Key for such a long time and still haven't read it let alone any of her other books

Tanza Erlambang - Every Day Issues 11/16/18, 1:19 PM  

sound interesting books to read.
have a great day

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