- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Press (October 30, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250200016
- ISBN-13: 978-1250200013
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 125 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Rain Watcher: A Novel Hardcover – October 30, 2018
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From the Publisher
"An absorbing tale of family secrets from the author of Sarah's Key." - People magazine
“I was mesmerized by Tatiana de Rosnay’s new novel across the ocean and back―don’t bring this book on a plane with you if you want to sleep! The Rain Watcher has something for everyone: an all-too-fathomable disaster story of the Seine swamping Paris; a family story about confronting lifelong secrets; a cautionary tale and love letter to our natural world, all told with de Rosnay’s superlative sophistication and elegance. Hypnotic, passionate, ominous and tender―The Rain Watcher is unforgettable.” ―Jenna Blum, New York Times and internationally bestselling author of Those Who Save Us and The Lost Family
“The Rain Watcher is a poignant and moving story of a family in crisis. As flood waters rise in Paris, the men and women of the Malegarde clan struggle not to drown under the weight of their own secrets. Through her tender rendering of her characters, Tatiana de Rosnay demonstrates that―in spite of our burdens and our brokenness―redemption and healing are within our grasp.” ―Erika Robuck, national bestselling author of Hemingway’s Girl
“A ceaseless rain, a brother, a sister, a birthday, a tree―seemingly ordinary things. But Tatiana de Rosnay’s expert storytelling proves that within life’s ordinary is the power for extraordinary change. A bonfire begins with a spark. A flood with a single drop. In similar fashion, The Rain Watcher will leave you spellbound, transformed, and swept away.” ―Sarah McCoy, New York Times and international bestselling author of The Mapmaker’s Children
“Triumphant…de Rosnay stokes the Malegardes’ histories with raw and powerful reminisces and gorgeous descriptions. This is an emotional tour de force and a thoughtful, deliberate examination of personal tragedy and the possibility of redemption.” ―Publishers Weekly
Praise for Tatiana de Rosnay:
“An excellent read….This outstanding biography will attract Daphne du Maurier devotees of all ages." ―Library Journal (starred) on Manderley Forever
“A lush, beautifully rendered saga layered with secrets [and] scandal…. [A] brilliant pager-turner.”―BookPage on The Other Story
“Quietly elegant….Mesmerizing.” ―People on The House I Loved
“Seductive, suspenseful, [a] trés formidable keeper.”―Publishers Weekly on A Secret Kept
“Masterly and compelling, it is not something that readers will quickly forget. Highly recommended.”―Library Journal (starred review) on Sarah’s Key
About the Author
TATIANA DE ROSNAY is the author of more than ten novels, including the New York Times bestselling Sarah's Key, an international sensation and major motion picture. Tatiana lives with her husband and two children in Paris.
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Each member of the family from American ex-pat mother Lauren to French father Paul to siblings Tilda and Linden (both named after a tree) is harboring some sort of secret fear or frustration.
The story is told primarily from the viewpoint of Linden who obsessively examines and re-examines his parents and his aunt Candice’s reaction to his “gayness”. As if this were not enough the reader is also subjected to his ruminations over his current relationship with boyfriend Sacha as well as his guilt over a past peccadillo.
For a story featuring torrential rains and the flooding of a city, this story is as dry and unbearable as the Sahara in summer. The characters are boring, the plot non-existent, and the climax unsatisfying. The descriptions of Paris and the French countryside are the only redeeming aspects of this book. I really expected more from this author, but I suppose everyone is entitled to one that“misses the mark”.
The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay was one of my most anticipated reads for the end of 2018 due to my love of the author’s previous book, Sarah’s Key. Sarah’s Key is solely responsible for spurring my love of World War II Historical Fiction, and is on the list of my all-time favorite reads. It was a book I read and loved long before I was an avid reader, a book that stands out in my mind years after finishing it, and a truly beautiful and moving story. I expected nothing less from The Rain Watcher, a novel that caught my eye thanks to the gorgeous cover, talented author, and title.
Unfortunately, The Rain Watcher did not live up to my expectations in the slightest. I actually wish I would have stopped reading before I made it to the halfway point in this story. Being an optimist, I kept waiting for something to happen after the slow build, and before I knew it I was nearly halfway through the novel. At that point, it felt like a waste of time to stop reading and a waste of time to continue. For the sake of writing a review, I decided I needed to understand the whole story, whether it was good or bad.
The first issue with this novel for me was the narrative style the story was told in. I felt like it took away from the reading experience by not allowing me to connect with the characters in the way I hoped to, especially in a book by this author. Further, the writing style made the story feel as if it were going in many directions with each member of the family and their respective stories, rather than focusing on the main characters exclusively. This gave the implication of many things happening, but when I evaluated the story, nothing seemed to transpire.
On the whole, this novel was incredibly boring. I actually fell asleep twice while reading and other times would find my mind wandering, forcing me to go back and re-read, only to realize my mind had wandered to more interesting thoughts once again. I wanted desperately for an event to happen to catch and hold my interest, but sadly, it never did.
In my opinion, readers who are familiar with Paris streets and landmarks will feel more interested and eager to read the story. For someone who isn’t familiar with the city, the long descriptions of places in relation to others became tedious and overdone. This also kept the storyline mainly relating to the flood of the Seine from being as interesting as it could have been.
Overall, I didn’t really understand the point of the story. I felt like the author was trying to push an agenda that is dear to heart, though it is one I don’t prefer to have shoved down my throat while reading. I wish this had been indicated in the blurb, rather than sprung on me through the course of the book. I also wish something exciting had happened! It was a shame to wait and wait and be entirely let down.
This novel has its place and will surely find readers who relate to the family story at the heart of the book. I only wish I could be one of those people.
It’s a slow burn of a book. It's all about the characters . The book is told from Linden’s perspective, so we obviously learn the most of his life and what has brought him to this point. I kept wanting to connect more with Linden. Having dealt with a parent's health crisis, I thought I would feel more empathy for him. But the entire time, I felt like I was just watching this story. I had trouble engaging with the characters. I can’t put my finger on exactly why. Although if I had to hazard a guess, I would say de Rosnay engaged my mind but not my heart.
De Rosnay does a better job describing Paris and the effects of the flood. I found those parts of the book to be engaging throughout.
The writing here just seems off at times. When Linden and his mother finally have a heart to heart, her thoughts are all conveyed as summaries of what she was saying. There was no actual conversation recounted.
The ending just sort of ends. I can understand why she chose to end it when and how she did, but it’s somewhat unsatisfying.
Readers have commented on the disfunctions of the Malegarde family, but I though they were completely understandable. I loved the perspective of the narrator, Linden Malegarde. He is now a successful photographer, but as a closeted gay young man in a less than supportive environment, he had a lot to overcome. His sister, too, has had her challenges, surviving a horrendous accident in her twenties, then marriage to an alcoholic. They have reunited with their parents in Paris to celebrate the birthday of Linden’s parents. Despite everything that goes wrong during the celebratory weekend, I thought that a strong thread of hope buoyed up this story.