The Rain Watcher

The Rain Watcher

The first new novel in four years from the beloved superstar author of Sarah's Key, a heartbreaking and uplifting story of family secrets and devastating disaster, in the tradition of THE NEST.The Rain Watcher is a powerful family drama set in Paris as the Malegarde family gathers to celebrate the father's 70th birthday. Their hidden fears and secrets are slowly unraveled...

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Title:The Rain Watcher
Author:Tatiana de Rosnay
Rating:

The Rain Watcher Reviews

  • Elyse Walters

    There are many things I enjoyed about this novel...

    ....I’m absolutely glad I read it. I definitely recommend it. TRUTH IS I LIKED IT A LOT.....( gorgeous writing and vivid descriptive experiences - a very interesting story - with characters to cozy up with and become intimate rather quickly).

    There are some problems however:

    .....incomplete tale-add-ins....stories got dropped off. Some never got developed-barley off the ground- or they interrupted the flow of the greater issues pressing.

    .....

    There are many things I enjoyed about this novel...

    ....I’m absolutely glad I read it. I definitely recommend it. TRUTH IS I LIKED IT A LOT.....( gorgeous writing and vivid descriptive experiences - a very interesting story - with characters to cozy up with and become intimate rather quickly).

    There are some problems however:

    .....incomplete tale-add-ins....stories got dropped off. Some never got developed-barley off the ground- or they interrupted the flow of the greater issues pressing.

    ..... At around the 80% mark — I didn’t feel it was the right place to introduce a new character and lead-in- side- story. This could be my personal preference. I’m not a fan of bringing in new characters too close to the end of a novel unless there is a very clear distinct reason to do so .....which ties into the beginning of the book.

    ......’Possibly’ too many themes fighting for center stage: yet... I liked it anyway.

    1- Trees and all that they teach us...2- The Seine River flooding Paris...3- The family Reunion....getting the scoop on each person and how they each relate to each other: ....communication - forgiveness - embracing each other - love.

    Flaws included.......I REALLY LIKED THIS BOOK .....pimples - cellulite- gray hairs and all! Did I want to change a few things - a couple!

    BUT....I am still basking in the afterglow of having read it!!!!! Tatiana de Rosnay is a great storyteller. The main characters are extremely well developed. Sometimes there is nothing better than getting a great compassionate take on the characters alone.

    It was only last year ....when a magazine article came out saying “France, insurers fear a major flood of the Seine”. Although the rising water was not comparable of 1910... there was extensive damage with over 19,000 houses without electricity, and 4000 evacuees. That was the REAL NEWS....

    So.... Tatiana de Rosnay setting her novel in the heart of waterlogged streets - the river rising much more rapidly than normal — made for a very scary possible fascinating story.

    A family reunion was planned many months before any concern of floods in Paris.

    Paul and Lauren were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary.....and it would be Paul’s 70th birthday.

    Lauren planned the gathering. She only wanted their two adult children to attend ( not their partners or husbands)...

    Talia, artist, ....oldest sibling, in her 30’s, lived in London with her 2nd husband, Colin Favell. ( he was often intoxicated)

    Paul, ‘TreeMan’, and Lauren, social knockout beauty- a little self-absorbed , lived in Venozan, near Sevral, in Drome valley, France....

    Linden Malegarde, famous photographer, lived in San Francisco’s with his partner Sasha Lord. (loves opera - cooking - works for a startup)

    Other characters:

    Candace —- Linden’s aunt. Lauren’s sister

    Mistral —-Daughter of Talia

    Oriel —friend/ photographer of Linden - lives in France

    Hadrien- pass lover

    There are a few other characters also — and a strength in Tatiana’s writing is we feel we know them all pretty well.

    Everyone has withheld something from one another....

    And the reunion doesn’t go as planned. There is sickness - pneumonia and a stroke- personality differences between each family member -and everyone seems rather exhausted simply by the conditions of Paris in itself. The atmosphere is not a happy festive place .... with restaurants, galleries, and theaters, etc all dwindling down to almost nothing.

    For the majority of the novel Linden is the narrator. He’s a beautiful- compassionate man. I LIKED HIM AS THE NARRATOR! The ‘inserted’ narrator was predictable from the start for me....( except 1 part of it)....

    We watch Linden analyze and critique his relationships with each family member in the present and a little from the past - especially wondering why he had such a hard time talking with his dad.

    His dad loved trees passionately ( and David Bowie music), in the same way Linden did photography....so they share having a deep passion in common.

    One night - Linden was with Oriel part of the helping team - out on a motor boat - with search lights trying to help anyone who needed it. It was dark - midnight ...

    “The moon radiates in a freezing blue-black sky, illuminating the swollen watercourse. There is a higher spot at the end of rue Cognacq-Jay, just before the bridge, and they head there. As a step out of the boat, icy waters shoots up to their shins. They wade through it, teeth clenched. The place is completely deserted. The Seine is now drenching the Zouave’s shoulders. The bridge has been entirely closed off by metal barriers and it seems to be poised on top of the river”.

    The atmosphere in Paris is dark - cold - wet - filthy -

    Hospitals have to move patients- streets smell - PEOPLE HAVE BEEN AFFECTED....

    Can you imagine? Your family plans a celebration weekend together — it’s been a long time since THE FOUR OF YOU have been together—

    Welcome to catastrophe after catastrophe!!!

    “When nature got angry, there was nothing a man could do about it. Nothing at all”.

    4.5 Stars

    Thank You St. Martin’s Press, Netgalley, and Tatiana de Rosnay

  • Paromjit

    This is my first read of a book by Tatiana de Rosnay, and whilst it often strained to retain a cohesive coherent whole, I nevertheless loved the beautiful rich tapestry of prose and description and its character driven narrative. This is an intensely vibrant, melancholic, atmospheric and multi-layered family drama set in Paris, as the city endures the dangerous and menacing flooding of the River Seine. It focuses on the reunion of the dysfunctional Malegarde family, gathering together for a sign

    This is my first read of a book by Tatiana de Rosnay, and whilst it often strained to retain a cohesive coherent whole, I nevertheless loved the beautiful rich tapestry of prose and description and its character driven narrative. This is an intensely vibrant, melancholic, atmospheric and multi-layered family drama set in Paris, as the city endures the dangerous and menacing flooding of the River Seine. It focuses on the reunion of the dysfunctional Malegarde family, gathering together for a significant wedding anniversary and the 70th birthday celebration of the tree obsessed arborist, Paul, who adores David Bowie. This has been planned by Lauren, his wife, and they have two grown up children. The eldest, Tilia, is a London based artist haunted by the terrors of a tragic car accident that left her the only survivor, she is married to Colin, her second husband, a man rather too fond of the drink. The compassionate Linden is a well known photographer, living in San Francisco with his partner. Each member of the family has secrets locked inside they have kept from one another.

    In a story primarily narrated by Linden, nothing goes as planned as the family find themselves subject to one crisis after another, with intrigue and conflict spilling over. With the never ending and relentless rain, Paris becomes unrecognisable as the city floods becoming bleak, dark, dingy, freezing cold, sopping wet with the unavoidable consequent health hazards that arise. Within the family, a veritable overflowing emotional torrent is unleashed as secrets and memories begin to emerge. The thoughtful Linden reflects on his relationship with each family member, the closeness he had with his now deceased aunt, how he has never felt able to be who he is amidst his family. Against all the odds, the family begins to slowly come back together whilst Paris disintegrates.

    This is a gloriously thought provoking, profound and moving read of the wisdom of trees, marriage, the pain, hurt, loss, fears, the burdens carried within families and hope. The location of Paris serves as a huge central character, where the irrefutable power of nature reigns supreme as it exercises its ability to wreak unbound devastation. This is erudite and insightful storytelling with character studies that feel extraordinarily authentic and full of depth which I loved and appreciated. The novel certainly has its flaws but its strengths far outweigh its weaknesses. Highly recommended. Many thanks to St Martin's Press for an ARC.

  • Berit☀️✨

    A beautifully told, powerful story, about the complexities of family....

    Just as Linden’s story begins and ends with a tree, so does this book... The perfect and very telling first line to this wonderful story.... a story told solely from the POV of Linden.... A charming young man, who has struggled throughout his life to find acceptance of Who he is... not only from others, but from himself! The themes in this book ar

    A beautifully told, powerful story, about the complexities of family....

    Just as Linden’s story begins and ends with a tree, so does this book... The perfect and very telling first line to this wonderful story.... a story told solely from the POV of Linden.... A charming young man, who has struggled throughout his life to find acceptance of Who he is... not only from others, but from himself! The themes in this book are very universal; acceptance, forgiveness, understanding, Love,secrets, and family.... The Malegarde family could be my family, they could be yours...

    This somber story is set against the backdrop of Paris in the midst of a natural disaster... The endless reigns have lead to the river Seine reaching flood levels... this aded so much atmosphere to this book, I felt the wet, I heard the raindrops, I smelled the river.... and all from my living room in the middle of a very dry California, in fact our water levels are dangerously low at the moment.... it really takes a talented author to transport you so completely through her words... I felt as though this was the perfect backdrop for the story, I think it would have been a completely different book had it taken place in a bright sunny Paris....

    A book like this is difficult to review because its beauty is in the words... its elegance is in the structure.... its meaning is in the silence.... I can however tell you this is a stunning story, filled with beautiful language, and characters you will feel four.... the Author does not hit you over the head with this story, instead she allows it to slowly seep into you until it is all consuming.... A journey that I believe should not be missed!

    Absolutely recommend to those of you who enjoy a quieter beautifully told family drama that will leave you feeling hopeful....

    *** A huge thank you to St. Martin’s Press for my copy of this book ***

  • Diane S ☔

    An historic flood, a flawed family, and the last chance for understanding and redemption, converge in this well done novel. When the Malegarde family arrive in Paris to celebrate the Father's 70th birthday, they little expect the incessant rain, nor the impact the flooding of the Seine will have on their stay. Linden, a very successful photographer is our narrator snd our tour guide, chronicling the flooding. The family will soon be dealing with a life threatening illness, an illness do serious

    An historic flood, a flawed family, and the last chance for understanding and redemption, converge in this well done novel. When the Malegarde family arrive in Paris to celebrate the Father's 70th birthday, they little expect the incessant rain, nor the impact the flooding of the Seine will have on their stay. Linden, a very successful photographer is our narrator snd our tour guide, chronicling the flooding. The family will soon be dealing with a life threatening illness, an illness do serious they are not able to leave to escape the rapidly rising water.

    In many ways I felt the flood was the main character, the family and their trials play out against this very real tragedy. The family has much in their past to deal with, and as the water rises so too does the tension within this family. I loved all the tree talk, as Paul is a world renowned tree expert, in fact the story stars and ends with a tree. A tree that will play a very important part in the story. This will prove to be a memorable trip for this family, in more ways than one.

    I enjoyed this, it is a quieter, introspective novel, about a family who love each other but have many things from their pasts with which they need to come to terms. The flooding snd the impsct on the city is done extremely well, and the family is one in which we can relate. They show how a family can lose their moorings, by actions not taken, and words not spoken.

    ARC from Netgalley snd St. Martin's press.

  • Angela M

    A family reunion to celebrate a father’s seventieth birthday and the parents’ wedding anniversary brings together a family whose love for each is part and parcel of this story. Yet they don’t seem to know each other very well, harboring secrets of who they are, holding regrets over mistakes they made, or something they can’t bear to speak about, sad times in their past. This time in Paris, the complicated family relationships slowly to come to light while the relentless rain is flooding Paris. M

    A family reunion to celebrate a father’s seventieth birthday and the parents’ wedding anniversary brings together a family whose love for each is part and parcel of this story. Yet they don’t seem to know each other very well, harboring secrets of who they are, holding regrets over mistakes they made, or something they can’t bear to speak about, sad times in their past. This time in Paris, the complicated family relationships slowly to come to light while the relentless rain is flooding Paris. Mostly from Linden’s point of view but interspersed with some reminiscences of the past from his father’s point of view, this is not a very long book. Yet Tatiana de Rosnay slowly reveals to the reader events of their pasts - Linden’s sister Tilia and his father Paul’s and his mother, Lauren and Linden’s that make us understand who these characters are. One couldn’t help but hope that they will come to a better understanding and acceptance of each other. The writing is wonderfully descriptive. I felt drenched in this city, undergoing this storm, and seeped in the family’s demons hovering over them like this rain. This really is a beautiful story about many things - regrets, forgiveness and understanding of each other, of themselves, about marriage, identity, trauma and how tragedy from the past can influence who you are. Beginning and ending with Paul’s love of trees, this is a sad, contemplative and hopeful story. I loved it.

    My one complaint is that there are several lines in French at the beginning of a good number of the chapters. I don’t read French so I missed what ever meaning these may have had for the story. It wasn’t like it was a word or two that I easily look it up and I was quite annoyed by this I have to admit . A translation would have been nice. But in spite of what I missed, 4 stars.

    I received an advanced copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley.

  • Lindsay - Traveling Sister

    4 atmospheric stars!

    From the first page of this story, I felt as if I was transported into the rain drenched city of Paris, France. The pitter-pattering of the rain against windows, the splashing through endless puddles, the droplets of rain dripping from umbrellas, the constant measure of the waters’ rise. I was entranced by the intensity and beauty of the atmosphere of this novel. The scenes felt so real and vivid that my imagination didn’t have to do much work at all.

    This novel follows Lind

    4 atmospheric stars!

    From the first page of this story, I felt as if I was transported into the rain drenched city of Paris, France. The pitter-pattering of the rain against windows, the splashing through endless puddles, the droplets of rain dripping from umbrellas, the constant measure of the waters’ rise. I was entranced by the intensity and beauty of the atmosphere of this novel. The scenes felt so real and vivid that my imagination didn’t have to do much work at all.

    This novel follows Linden Malegarde, famous photographer and youngest son of the Malegarde family. He is meeting his parents, sister and niece in Paris to celebrate his father’s seventieth birthday. While in Paris, a natural disaster strikes, causing extreme flooding and devastation.

    Told with exquisitely beautiful writing, Tatiana de Rosnay, captures a family gathering full of love, angst, fear, secrets and uncertainty. Each character adds a deeper layer of intrigue to the family dynamic. This novel has an intense sense of sadness and melancholy, but is deeply touching and emotional. I highly recommend this book, but warn readers to pick it up only when ready for a slower, emotional journey.

    A big thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Tatiana de Rosnay for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

    Expected Date of Publication: October 23, 2018.

  • Melissa

    When this novel finds its way into your hands, you very well could be basking in a sunny or warm locale, but it won’t make a bit of difference. Cracking this cover guarantees reality will fade into the background as the transportive nature of

    ’s words take over. She’ll land you smack dab in the heart of Paris during a run of gloomy and wet weather. Chic slickers and umbrellas are no match for the da

    When this novel finds its way into your hands, you very well could be basking in a sunny or warm locale, but it won’t make a bit of difference. Cracking this cover guarantees reality will fade into the background as the transportive nature of

    ’s words take over. She’ll land you smack dab in the heart of Paris during a run of gloomy and wet weather. Chic slickers and umbrellas are no match for the days upon days of incessant rain you’ll find yourself wading through. Rain that’s wreaking havoc and causing an unsafe rise in the mighty Seine, threatening devastation for locals and tourists alike.

    Tourists, like the Malegarde family; well, sort of. Visitors for a long weekend getaway, theirs is a dual celebration two years in the planning: Paul’s seventieth birthday and Paul and Lauren’s fortieth wedding anniversary. At Lauren’s request the trip was sold as family only—just their two grown children, Linden and Tilia, convening with their parents in the city, sans their significant others. You have to wonder,

    just the foursome?

    The reader’s introduction to the Malegarde family is done with a slow and purposefully drawn narrative. Admittedly, it took a solid thirty pages or so to find my equilibrium with

    ’s style. I found her dialogue usage to be quite spotty, although in hindsight, incredibly meaningful when it needed to be. Her formatting composed entirely of page-long paragraphs and divided into six parts, opposed to chapters, would typically drive a reader like myself batty. Somehow it all managed to come together in a way that

    . Succumbing to the author’s style, allowed my stirring curiosities to run rampant, making the task of savoring pages futile.

    There’s a plethora of emotions at play here and deep-seated familial hurt just begging for dissection. The trip doesn’t go quite to plan, but it’s necessary and pivotal for just about

    involved. None more so than Linden—a driven and charismatic man. Told completely from his perspective,

    takes the reader along on Linden’s insightful journey—from staring down his Parisian demons, to bringing what’s truly important in life to the forefront and finally, the acknowledgement that true peace in his own heart could only come from being unapologetically Linden; damn the judgement it might rouse in another.

    There are so many wonderful lessons, revelations and truly moving moments found within these pages; things each reader deserves a chance to uncover themselves along the way.

  • Kaceey - Traveling Sister

    A gathering in Paris. A reunion of the Malegarde family. A time not only to celebrate but hopefully repair a fractured family. Paul and Lauren have two landmark events to celebrate. Pauls’70th birthday as well as their 40th wedding anniversary. Children Linden and sister Tilia arrive in Paris for the festivities, having left their own loved ones at home.

    This intimate party is strictly for the immediate family. Just the four of them.

    A gathering in Paris. A reunion of the Malegarde family. A time not only to celebrate but hopefully repair a fractured family. Paul and Lauren have two landmark events to celebrate. Pauls’70th birthday as well as their 40th wedding anniversary. Children Linden and sister Tilia arrive in Paris for the festivities, having left their own loved ones at home.

    This intimate party is strictly for the immediate family. Just the four of them.

    Even during the worst rain and flooding the city has seen in years, everyone does their level best to stay under the magic spell of Paris. And of course, to make the most of their family time together. When tragedy strikes, the family must find a way to come together or risk never repairing the scars that have afflicted this family for years.

    The descriptions of Paris and the threats of flooding are told in such vivid detail. A masterful literary painting that will have you viewing the landscapes with amazing clarity. A truly atmospheric book that will leave you heavy-hearted and wanting to reach out to your own family and loved ones.

    An emotional buddy read with Susanne!

    Thank you to Jordan Hanley at St Martins Press for a galley copy to read and review.

  • Susanne Strong

    3.75 Stars.* (rounded up).

    The Malegarde family arrives in Paris to celebrate both their Parent’s Anniversary and their Father’s 70th Birthday, during what is a tumultuous time for their family and Paris. The Seine River is flooding, due to the unrelenting rain.

    I close my eyes and hear the pounding rain and see the Seine, rising up, up and over.

    Linden Malegarde is a photographer. He arrives in Paris to meet his mother Lauren, his father Paul and his sister Tilda. His emotions, like the rain are

    3.75 Stars.* (rounded up).

    The Malegarde family arrives in Paris to celebrate both their Parent’s Anniversary and their Father’s 70th Birthday, during what is a tumultuous time for their family and Paris. The Seine River is flooding, due to the unrelenting rain.

    I close my eyes and hear the pounding rain and see the Seine, rising up, up and over.

    Linden Malegarde is a photographer. He arrives in Paris to meet his mother Lauren, his father Paul and his sister Tilda. His emotions, like the rain are in disarray. There is conflict, dysfunction and a myriad of family secrets.

    As the years have gone by, the Malegarde’s have grown apart. None of them knowing how to connect or communicate and with each passing day, it only gets worse. Each have gone through pain and sadness alone and now, in Paris they have a chance to weather the storm.

    “The Rain Watcher” by Tatiana de Rosnay is a novel whose lyrical prose will literally sweep you away on a wave of emotion. For me, this novel is about the need to be loved, the importance of family, finding peace within yourself and learning how to feel connected with others, in times when all hope seems lost.

    A buddy read with Kaceey!

    Thank you to Jordan at St. Martin’s Press and Tatiana de Rosnay for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

    Published on Goodreads on 10.14.18.

    *Will be published on Amazon on 10.23.18.

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