Tatiana de Rosnay writes beautiful novels, usually set in Paris, that capture the hearts and minds of readers.
I read Sarah’s Kay back in 2011 and wasn’t terribly as impressed as I had hoped. I find that I am in the minority when it comes to this opinion. But since then I’ve seen a number of her books climbing the bestseller lists with speed—though I haven’t read any others.
Could it have been the mood I was in at the time that made me not love her book? Sure. So while I kept an open mind about her other books, I wasn’t moved enough by their descriptions to pick any of them up. But that all changed then I got the pitch for this one.
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 as the City of Light undergoes a stunning natural disaster. Seen through the eyes of charismatic photographer Linden Malegarde, the youngest son, all members of the family will have to fight to keep their unity against tragic circumstances.
In this profound and intense novel of love and redemption, De Rosnay demonstrates all of her writer’s skills both as an incredible storyteller but also as a soul seeker (summary from Goodreads).
Who doesn’t love a family drama set in Paris? The setting immediately sucks readers in with its beautiful landscapes, rich history, and romantic setting. It makes for an excellent location and I loved how well it worked within the novel itself. The weather also plays a big part in this story and helps highlight different moods/tones of this book. While part of me felt like this was a little cliche and obvious, I still liked how the weather worked in the narrative.
De Rosnay writes with a lot of heart in her novels and this was no exception. It is clear that this book is going to be a bit of an emotional roller coaster with complex relationship and plot points. While it is that, there is something about the ending that feels unfinished to me. I remember thinking that about Sarah’s Key—it just felt unfinished and abrupt for me when it came to the ending and I felt the same thing in this book. By the end I was just sitting there musing over the fact that that was it—-and that I was wanting so much more.
This isn’t a fluff read—so if you are hoping for something lighter, then look elsewhere. This book has the feel of a heavier steak dinner. There is a lot for the reader to sink their teeth into. The plot is full of rich prose and well written plot points and characters.
Linden, the main character, was easily my favorite and he is very well developed and easily relatable. The main plot was intriguing but the side stories didn’t seem to be adding much to the greater story. At times I felt distracted by the side stories and wanted to abandon them in favor of the main story because it was much more substantial.
Mechanically this is a great book. Beautiful setting, likable characters, moody weather related backdrop in Paris, and powerful family drama. The writing is practiced and well executed, quick/fast paced and readers will see De Rosnay’s signature style immediately. But the ending is abrupt and some of the other side stories were a distraction for me. I thought about giving this one 3.5 stars but ultimately bumped it up to 4 because I liked Linden so much.
Kindle Edition, 240 pagesExpected publication: October 23rd 2018 by St. Martin’s Press
- Review copy provided by: Author/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This book counts toward: NA
- Hosted by: NA
- Books for Challenge Completed: NA
Recommendation: 4 out of 5
Genre: Historical fiction