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 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.

The Rain Watcher Details

TitleThe Rain Watcher
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 30th, 2018
PublisherSt. Martin's Press
ISBN-139781250200013
Rating
GenreFiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Cultural, France

The Rain Watcher Review

  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    I will start with the tree. Because everything begins, and ends, with the tree. 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 Tatiana de Rosnay’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 I will start with the tree. Because everything begins, and ends, with the tree. 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 Tatiana de Rosnay’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, why 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 de Rosnay’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 captured my heart. 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 everyone involved. None more so than Linden—a driven and charismatic man. Told completely from his perspective, The Rain Watcher 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. And there, in the heart of the linden, I knew no monster, no horror, would ever find me. *Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing a review copy.
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  • Elyse Walters
    January 1, 1970
    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 sisterMistral —-Daughter of TaliaOriel —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
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  • Paromjit
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Angela M
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Kaceey
    January 1, 1970
    3.5*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.This is a book of closely-held family secrets and desperati 3.5*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.This is a book of closely-held family secrets and desperation. Families growing apart and now looking for a way to heal long-held wounds.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.
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  • Diane S ☔
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Susanne Strong
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Berit☀️✨
    January 1, 1970
    A beautifully told, powerful story, about the complexities of family....“I will start with the tree. Because everything starts and ends with the tree.”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....“I will start with the tree. Because everything starts and ends with the tree.”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 ***
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  • Lindsay - Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    A family comes together to celebrate the father’s birthday and the parents’ anniversary. They meet in Paris, during an unreal rainstorm that is causing Paris to flood in a way it hasn’t since 1910. The celebration would probably have been problematic even without the rain and various health problems. This is not a close, loving family. Everyone has issues. To say their relationships are complicated is probably an understatement. But the weather provides the perfect background to the underlying s A family comes together to celebrate the father’s birthday and the parents’ anniversary. They meet in Paris, during an unreal rainstorm that is causing Paris to flood in a way it hasn’t since 1910. The celebration would probably have been problematic even without the rain and various health problems. This is not a close, loving family. Everyone has issues. To say their relationships are complicated is probably an understatement. But the weather provides the perfect background to the underlying storm of the family dynamics. 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. One minor issue is that each chapter starts off with a quote in French that is not translated. I’m hoping that by the time this book is actually published, translations will have been added. If a quote is worth including, it’s worth everyone being able to understand it. My thanks to netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advance copy of this book.
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars”As long as I rememberThe rain's been comin' downClouds of mystery pourin'Confusion on the ground“Still the rain kept pourin'Fallin' on my earsAnd I wonder, still I wonderWho'll stop the rain?”--Who'll Stop the Rain, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Songwriters: Glenn Gregory / Ian Marsh / Martyn Ware ”I will start with the tree. Because everything begins, and ends, with the tree. The tree is the tallest one. It was planted way before the others. I’m not sure how old it is, exactly. Perhap 4.5 Stars”As long as I rememberThe rain's been comin' downClouds of mystery pourin'Confusion on the ground“Still the rain kept pourin'Fallin' on my earsAnd I wonder, still I wonderWho'll stop the rain?”--Who'll Stop the Rain, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Songwriters: Glenn Gregory / Ian Marsh / Martyn Ware ”I will start with the tree. Because everything begins, and ends, with the tree. The tree is the tallest one. It was planted way before the others. I’m not sure how old it is, exactly. Perhaps three or four hundred years old. It is ancient and powerful. It has weathered terrible storms, braced against unbridled winds. It is not afraid.” Set against a background of a natural disaster occurring in Paris, the rising waters of the Seine, this is the story of the Malegarde family who is gathering together to celebrate their father’s 70th birthday. The father, Paul is a renowned tree specialist, indeed he seems to be more at home among the trees than he does with his family, or people in general. It is in the midst of his trees that he feels safe, known. Protected. Paul’s wife, Lauren, is an American woman who came to Paris for a vacation, and never left. Their daughter, Tilia, is an artist who lives in London with her husband, and Tilia’s brother, their son, Linden, lives in San Francisco, traveling frequently in his work as a world renowned photographer. Each has their own story to tell, and in its own way, Paris does as well. Secrets that they have kept to themselves, from each other, some are about the past, and some are about the present. Some of these secrets they wish they could share, and some they want to keep hidden. However, just as a flood is bound to release some things hidden from view, their secrets will eventually spill out, as well, and things will begin to unravel beginning with the dinner celebration. Linden is an especially convincing and compelling character, as he remembers his early years in Paris, life was not easy for him. Tilia is broken and angry and suffering the emotional scars from something that occurred long ago, but she is less sympathetic, keeping her walls high and impenetrable. There were brief references to things I’d read, things we’ve learned about trees, The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries From a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben, and which was shared in a more “novel” way in The Overstory by Richard Powers more recently, but this story includes reference to this knowledge almost casually, so it doesn’t intrude and break the rhythm of this story, which seems to be driven by the endless rain, the roar of the rising river. In a sense, trees are an integral part of this story, weaving all of their separate stories together.I wanted to read this story since I read De Rosnay’s Sarah’s Key, and had really appreciated how much of that story felt so real, my experience with her descriptive writing really had me curious about if I would experience that same sense of being there in this story – and I did, and I’m not really ready to leave these people and places behind.Pub Date: 23 OCT 2018Many thanks for the ARC provided by St. Martin’s Press
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    4 quiet and atmospheric stars to The Rain Watcher! 🌧 🌧 🌧 🌧 The Malegarde family has gathered in Paris to celebrate the birthday of the father of the family. At the same time, a natural disaster is looming, and as it occurs, the family’s hidden secrets are exposed as the rain continues to fall and flood the city. The voice of the story is Linden Malegarde, a young photographer. What an interesting and astute voice he has. The Malegardes have grown apart over the years, but they are not acknowledg 4 quiet and atmospheric stars to The Rain Watcher! 🌧 🌧 🌧 🌧 The Malegarde family has gathered in Paris to celebrate the birthday of the father of the family. At the same time, a natural disaster is looming, and as it occurs, the family’s hidden secrets are exposed as the rain continues to fall and flood the city. The voice of the story is Linden Malegarde, a young photographer. What an interesting and astute voice he has. The Malegardes have grown apart over the years, but they are not acknowledging it. Will the family be able to overcome their hurt and fears to ease their walk through immense tragedy?With themes of love and second chances, de Rosnay’s The Rain Watcher is rife with eloquent and elegant prose that transports you to the streets, sights, sounds, and intimacy of Paris. The Malegarde family is flawed and relatable, and the storyline is an emotional one. When times are at their most hopeless, we need our families to lean on…Will the Malegardes be able to do the same?Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the complimentary ARC. All opinions are my own. My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    Expectations often bend us away from the purity of intent.The Malegarde family has set its site on Paris for a private celebration of Lauren and Paul's 40th wedding anniversary and Paul's 70th birthday. Daughter Tilia and son Linden are told to leave their significant others at home. It was expected to be just a small gathering of the four. And the rain that fell upon the City of Light that weekend was never forecast to be so all-encompassing either. The trickling drops quickly turned into rivet Expectations often bend us away from the purity of intent.The Malegarde family has set its site on Paris for a private celebration of Lauren and Paul's 40th wedding anniversary and Paul's 70th birthday. Daughter Tilia and son Linden are told to leave their significant others at home. It was expected to be just a small gathering of the four. And the rain that fell upon the City of Light that weekend was never forecast to be so all-encompassing either. The trickling drops quickly turned into rivets of constant water that held the visitors at bay while the banks of the Seine soon began to overflow into the streets. Nature provided the shocking floods and family provided a deluge of unspoken buried secrets, unrequieted memories, and deep denial of the truth that will eventually rear its bold face. As the family gathers at the hotel, we learn that Paul met Lauren in a small village outside of Paris long ago. Paul became quite the arborist and was well known for his writings on trees. Tilia moved to London and has experienced two unsuccessful marriages. Linden resides in the United States and has become a photographer in high demand. Paul's health is at question from the onset of the trip. As they dine at a nearby restaurant, Paul suffers a stroke and is taken to the hospital. The Rain Watcher speaks to the vigil that we all keep in clasping "our truth" closer and closer in clenched hands. We desperately fear releasing that hidden bird into flight. As the story broadens in its scope, Tatiana de Rosnay introduces us to other characters that weave in and out of the story. These individuals peel away at the layers that camouflage our main characters' truth. Be patient in the tellings. We are all products of threads that entertwine with ours. They build upon our human foundation or they simply leave it in shambles. We cannot deny the shadows that still rest within.This was my first experience reading Tatiana de Rosnay. Her writing forces you to transfer the intense complications of life into the heart of what truly matters. The weight of expectations forced upon another human being takes its toll on the giver and on the receiver. Intended and perhaps not. The ending is sliced with a serrated knife......certainly leaving the crumbs of those open-ended expectations after all.I received a copy of The Rain Watcher from St. Martin's Press. My thanks to them and to Tatiana de Rosnay for the opportunity.
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  • Carol
    January 1, 1970
    Well....My Goodness! Ha! 4+ Mind-Bending Stars! THE RAIN WATCHER is a perplexing read that, at times, felt disjointed because intermingled throughout the story are tidbits about trees, but I soon found.....Everything here begins and ends with a tree....an ancient and powerful tree....a tree that has seen many secrets over its 300+ years of existence. This clever tree is not afraid and likes to pretend it's dead. Trees are very important to life....as you will see.This story, simply stated, is ab Well....My Goodness! Ha! 4+ Mind-Bending Stars! THE RAIN WATCHER is a perplexing read that, at times, felt disjointed because intermingled throughout the story are tidbits about trees, but I soon found.....Everything here begins and ends with a tree....an ancient and powerful tree....a tree that has seen many secrets over its 300+ years of existence. This clever tree is not afraid and likes to pretend it's dead. Trees are very important to life....as you will see.This story, simply stated, is about a family get-together in Paris. The weather, however, turns chilly and ominous....the rain incessant and torrential....the Seine threatens to overflow....and the city is unprepared.Paul will be 70. He loves trees....is even dubbed "The Treeman". He and wife Lauren will be married 40 years. Estranged son Linden and troubled daughter Tilia are both named after his favorite tree....in different languages.Each family member has secrets and haunted memories that are slowly revealed in bits and pieces as the story is told, and.....there IS a monster.Amidst a backdrop of catastrophic events and health scares, windows of communication open in the most amazing way between father and son, and long buried secrets come to light.Ohhhh how I enjoyed this thought-provoking character-driven read that led me to an unexpected destination in a way that bewildered....until it didn't. Both Sarah's Key and Manderley Forever are favorites of mine as is this author.Many thanks to St. Martin's Press via NetGalley for the arc in exchange for review.
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  • Katie B
    January 1, 1970
    I find books that explore family relationships so fascinating and this one did not disappoint. Linden Malegarde goes to Paris to meet up with his sister and parents to celebrate his father's birthday. As Linden reflects back on key moments in his life that led to fractured relationships with family members, a natural disaster threatens to bring down the city.While the book focused on the complicated relationships Linden had with each family member, there was this simplicity to the novel I really I find books that explore family relationships so fascinating and this one did not disappoint. Linden Malegarde goes to Paris to meet up with his sister and parents to celebrate his father's birthday. As Linden reflects back on key moments in his life that led to fractured relationships with family members, a natural disaster threatens to bring down the city.While the book focused on the complicated relationships Linden had with each family member, there was this simplicity to the novel I really enjoyed. The family dynamics felt natural and not something that was written just for drama's sake. I think most of us can relate to having family members that despite living in a house with them for years, you still are left with a feeling like you don't truly know them and they don't truly get you either. And that's probably why I connected with this book, out of this desire to have more meaningful relationships with certain people in my life.I'm always drawn to books with Paris or just France in general as a setting because it always feels like a bonus character in the story. The threat of a flood bringing a city to a standstill really added an intensity level that kept increasing as the story progressed. I definitely recommend this book if you are seeking something that is more character driven than something that relies on crazy, twisted plots to keep you entertained. This is basically a simple story told really well.I received a free copy of this book from St. Martin's Press but was under no obligation to post a review. All views expressed are my honest opinion.
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  • Holly B
    January 1, 1970
    A family re-union/celebration in Paris is interrupted by a force of nature. The torrential rain is not letting up and the Seine River is rising. The Malegarde family find themselves trapped in a flooded city and the celebration they were looking forward to takes a tragic turn and they now face a devastating loss. The background of the gloomy, ominous weather adds to the atmospheric setting. As the family deals with loss, past secrets and regret surface. They are revealed slowly and the family dy A family re-union/celebration in Paris is interrupted by a force of nature. The torrential rain is not letting up and the Seine River is rising. The Malegarde family find themselves trapped in a flooded city and the celebration they were looking forward to takes a tragic turn and they now face a devastating loss. The background of the gloomy, ominous weather adds to the atmospheric setting. As the family deals with loss, past secrets and regret surface. They are revealed slowly and the family dynamics shift from sadness to forgiveness.A slow burn of an emotional journey, clashing family dynamics and loss sums this one up. Recommend to fans who enjoy character driven novels with extensive descriptive writing.Thanks to SMP for my copy to read and review. Approx. pub on 10/30/18
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  • Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
    January 1, 1970
    Beautifully written and filled with quiet emotion—The Rain Watcher by Tatiana De Rosnay is the type of book that made me feel an incredible stillness while reading. There is an elegance to the way De Rosnay writes that is so delicate, and I think that is where the sense of peace comes from as you read her work. I was a big fan of Sarah’s Key. I still remember the first time I read it. This book is quite different from Sarah’s Key, but no less immaculate. I am so thrilled to share this beautiful Beautifully written and filled with quiet emotion—The Rain Watcher by Tatiana De Rosnay is the type of book that made me feel an incredible stillness while reading. There is an elegance to the way De Rosnay writes that is so delicate, and I think that is where the sense of peace comes from as you read her work. I was a big fan of Sarah’s Key. I still remember the first time I read it. This book is quite different from Sarah’s Key, but no less immaculate. I am so thrilled to share this beautiful book today with readers!About the BookLinden Malegarde has come home to Paris from the United States. It has been years since the whole family was all together. Now the Malegarde family is gathering for Paul, Linden’s father’s 70th birthday.Each member of the Malegarde family is on edge, holding their breath, afraid one wrong move will shatter their delicate harmony. Paul, the quiet patriarch, an internationally-renowned arborist obsessed with his trees and little else, has always had an uneasy relationship with his son. Lauren, his American wife, is determined that the weekend celebration will be a success. Tilia, Linden’s blunt older sister, projects an air of false fulfillment. And Linden himself, the youngest, uncomfortable in his own skin, never quite at home no matter where he lives―an American in France and a Frenchman in the U.S.―still fears that, despite his hard-won success as a celebrated photographer, he will always be a disappointment to his parents.Their hidden fears and secrets slowly unravel as the City of Light undergoes a stunning natural disaster, and the Seine bursts its banks and floods the city. 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.Reflection“I will start with the tree. Because everything begins, and ends, with the tree. The tree is the tallest one. It was planted way before the others. I’m not sure how old it is, exactly. Perhaps three or four hundred years old. It is ancient and powerful. It has weathered terrible storms, braced against unbridled winds. It is not afraid.”This story is about a family. But at its core, it is also about how we survive in the most difficult of times. In the way the waters of the Seine creep into the city, with the rains pouring down unrelentingly outside, this family has seen their share of hardship. Life is not always easy, but that doesn’t diminish its’ beauty. But this family also has their roots—their lifeboat in a storm, their ancient unafraid tree.The way the novel is written is based largely on memories. The memories are woven together in a non-linear fashion. We may start in a current setting and then remember a conversation from many years before. There is very little dialogue, and what is there is Linden’s description of the conversation rather a literal transcription. And this is what I mean when I describe the writing as delicate. It is fluid and intricately woven together. The Rain Watcher is the story of a family trip to Paris, but more than that it is the story of this family. All the way from the beginning, through the hard times and the times they felt disconnected, and through the times that they find one another. There are many lessons to be learned in this book, and it is a book I will continue to learn from each time I read it. I want to leave with one final quotation that really spoke to me. I have been an environmentalist my whole life (I went to college in Oregon, afterall). When I was a child I wrote several poems and short stories about trees. They have been a source of comfort to me my whole life. And so more than anyone, else, I felt a connection to Paul in this book. This quotation makes my heart happy, and I hope you enjoy it too.“We now know trees connect to each other. They do that through their roots, and through their leaves. […] The problem is that people don’t attach importance to the secret lives of trees. […] In this fast new world where everything happens instantaneously, we aren’t used to waiting anymore. We have forgotten how to be patient. Everything about a tree is slow, how it thrives, how it develops. No one really understands how slowly trees grow and how old they become. Some trees are thousands of years old. In fact, a tree is the exact opposite of the crazy, fast times we live in.”Many thanks to St, Martin’s Press for my copy to review.
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  • Phrynne
    January 1, 1970
    I still remember clearly reading this author's book Sarah's Key. That key haunted me in my nightmares! The Rainwatcher is a very different kind of book, still memorable but in another kind of way.The story takes place in Paris during a major flood and one of the most important things the reader takes away from it is the rain. It rains for the entire book, the Seine floods and, worst of all, the water rises from under the city swamping the Metro and forcing sewage and rats up out of the drains. S I still remember clearly reading this author's book Sarah's Key. That key haunted me in my nightmares! The Rainwatcher is a very different kind of book, still memorable but in another kind of way.The story takes place in Paris during a major flood and one of the most important things the reader takes away from it is the rain. It rains for the entire book, the Seine floods and, worst of all, the water rises from under the city swamping the Metro and forcing sewage and rats up out of the drains. Set against this is a small reunion in a Paris hotel of four family members who suffer some very unfortunate events. This book is really character driven and the author does an excellent job. Linden, whose POV tells the whole story, is delightful and it is a joy to watch him find his voice and finally tell it as it really is. I could happily read another book about Linden and Sascha!I gave this book 4 stars at the start but I have nearly talked myself into 5! Let's just say it is very enjoyable read and I am left still thinking about the characters. That is always the sign of a good book.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Netgalley for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review In an effort to be totally transparent, I must confess that it took me several attempts to get past the first chapter. However, I was definitely in the mood to give The Rain Watcher the attention it deserves. As per usual, Tatiana de Rosnay takes readers to her familiar stomping grounds to the streets of Paris, as the Seine waters rise and one modern family comes under the microscope. By the time I reached the end, I felt satisfi Thanks to Netgalley for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review In an effort to be totally transparent, I must confess that it took me several attempts to get past the first chapter. However, I was definitely in the mood to give The Rain Watcher the attention it deserves. As per usual, Tatiana de Rosnay takes readers to her familiar stomping grounds to the streets of Paris, as the Seine waters rise and one modern family comes under the microscope. By the time I reached the end, I felt satisfied that I had read the story right until the end. A lot of relatable familial issues are present and no doubt, people who have experienced with some of the situations that Rosnay's characters go through will no doubt struck a chord. Now, I am not trying to be cynical, in fact, my heart was strumming with empathy (is that possible?). But I am going to chime in with some of my fellow reviewers and agree that something was definitely off in the actual writing structure. Sarah's Key and The House I Loved engulfed my soul and I still adore re-reading them. But I feel like some of the author's usual magic and her ability to break my heart was (oh gosh,here I go) replaced by a story that is a bit redundant and I couldn't go any higher in my rating.
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  • Judy
    January 1, 1970
    Tatiana de Rosnay has spun a beautifully written tale of a family reunion set against the backdrop of torrential, never-ending rain in Paris and the flooding of the Seine river. The family is there for Paul Malegarde's 70th birthday and the 40th wedding anniversary of Paul and Lauren. Also in attendance are Linden, their son and Tilia, their daughter. This story is told totally from the son, Linden's point of view. The trip did not go as planned and there are several family dramas playing out at Tatiana de Rosnay has spun a beautifully written tale of a family reunion set against the backdrop of torrential, never-ending rain in Paris and the flooding of the Seine river. The family is there for Paul Malegarde's 70th birthday and the 40th wedding anniversary of Paul and Lauren. Also in attendance are Linden, their son and Tilia, their daughter. This story is told totally from the son, Linden's point of view. The trip did not go as planned and there are several family dramas playing out at once threading through the story seamlessly. Hidden secrets - every member of the family has one - come to light and must be faced. The characters are well-developed and believable. There is a sense of sadness throughout exacerbated by the atmospheric rain backdrop. The dual tragedies of the flood and the family intertwine. The writing was lovely and entrancing and I truly enjoyed the story - despite the depressing backdrop of the endless rain and flood.I would have given this five stars except for two things: I still have questions about Suzanne, and some of the chapters have lines in French at the beginning that I have no idea what they say (this didn't detract from the story for me, but I would like to know what they say). Therefore I rated it four stars.Thanks to Tatiana de Rosnay and St. Martin's Press through Netgalley for an advance copy.
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  • Mackey
    January 1, 1970
    The Rain Watcher is one of the most enchanting novels I have read this year. An eloquent family story wrapped in secondary story about the floods of Paris, this book will capture your attention from the beginning and not let you go long after you have finished the tale. From the author of Sarah's Key, de Rosnay weaves a tale full of family secrets. As the rain rises throughout Paris, so does the tension within the family. Sibling spats, unspoken hurts and anger, revelations from the past and a d The Rain Watcher is one of the most enchanting novels I have read this year. An eloquent family story wrapped in secondary story about the floods of Paris, this book will capture your attention from the beginning and not let you go long after you have finished the tale. From the author of Sarah's Key, de Rosnay weaves a tale full of family secrets. As the rain rises throughout Paris, so does the tension within the family. Sibling spats, unspoken hurts and anger, revelations from the past and a dying patriarch all told with such emotion and angst that it will shatter your heart and, in the end, fill it once again with hope. The Rain Watcher is at once ordinary and mesmerizing as we, the reader, are enlightened to the humanity in us all. I simply cannot recommend The Rain Watcher highly enough, nor do I have the words to bestow praises highly enough for this incredible book. Please, read this for yourself and see why de Rosnay is, indeed, one of the best authors of this new millennia. Thank you to #Netgalley, #StMartinsPress and Tatiana De Rosnay for my copy of this spectacular book.
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  • Marialyce
    January 1, 1970
    My reviews can be found here: http://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpress... Today, I am reviewing Tatiana de Rosnay's newest book entitled, The Rain Watcher. I loved her book Sarah's Key, was not a fan of her book A Secret Kept and now with this one, I am somewhere in the middle.One's family is the cornerstone of who they are. They are the ones who planted seeds within yourself that when nurtured grow to produce a good person. The Malegarde family comes together to celebrate their father's seventieth My reviews can be found here: http://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpress... Today, I am reviewing Tatiana de Rosnay's newest book entitled, The Rain Watcher. I loved her book Sarah's Key, was not a fan of her book A Secret Kept and now with this one, I am somewhere in the middle.One's family is the cornerstone of who they are. They are the ones who planted seeds within yourself that when nurtured grow to produce a good person. The Malegarde family comes together to celebrate their father's seventieth birthday. Bearing secrets and lifetimes, the family faces a health crisis with their father. Meanwhile Paris itself is under siege from rainstorms which cause huge flooding issues and lends quite a somber atmosphere to the goings on of the Malegarde family.Prominent among the characters is Linden the son, who has faced the fact that he is gay, the loss of a beloved aunt, a somewhat tenuous relationship with his father, and also a secret that his mother has kept from him. He is floundering and yet he is the one who is expected to hold the family together. Can love, tragedy, and loss bring this family unity or will they each at the end go their separate ways?This character driven novel is sometimes powerful but often the writing seems to get in the way of the story. I found it to be ponderous at times and found myself losing attention with paragraphs that were overly long and drawn out.Was this a bad novel? No, not at all. It was just a novel that seemed to want to arrive at something but never really got there. Although it was not really for me, I do recommend it to those who like a character driven book, one where family interaction resemble what many families are experiencing, one where the descriptions of Paris and the flooding come through loud and clear. The city and the family share a crisis which both of them might never recover from.Thank you to Tatiana de Rosney, St Martin's Press, and NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an impartial review.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Paul Malegarde and his wife Lauren meet their two children Tilia and Linden in Paris to celebrate Paul's 70th birthday. As soon as they all arrive the torrential rains begin and a series of events begin that make for a tragic reunion. Unfortunately this book did not work for me. I would have had a better reading experience if there had been more focus on either the flood or the relationships between the family that needed sorted out. All in all a very disappointing read.Thank you Netgalley and S Paul Malegarde and his wife Lauren meet their two children Tilia and Linden in Paris to celebrate Paul's 70th birthday. As soon as they all arrive the torrential rains begin and a series of events begin that make for a tragic reunion. Unfortunately this book did not work for me. I would have had a better reading experience if there had been more focus on either the flood or the relationships between the family that needed sorted out. All in all a very disappointing read.Thank you Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Bkwmlee
    January 1, 1970
    Set against the backdrop of a historic flood in Paris, The Rain Watcher is an atmospheric tale about the Malegarde family, told primarily from the perspective of the youngest son Linden, who is a world-renowned photographer. As he and his family – older sister Tilia, his parents Lauren and Paul – reunite to celebrate his parents wedding anniversary as well as his father’s 70th birthday, the atmosphere around them is grim, with ceaseless rain that greets each family member upon their arrival. A Set against the backdrop of a historic flood in Paris, The Rain Watcher is an atmospheric tale about the Malegarde family, told primarily from the perspective of the youngest son Linden, who is a world-renowned photographer. As he and his family – older sister Tilia, his parents Lauren and Paul – reunite to celebrate his parents wedding anniversary as well as his father’s 70th birthday, the atmosphere around them is grim, with ceaseless rain that greets each family member upon their arrival. As the family prepares for their gathering, a crisis slowly unfolds around them in the form of rising floodwaters that threaten to submerge the city. When tragedy befalls the family and Paul ends up in the hospital, Linden embarks on a retrospective journey that, over the course of the story, gives us insight into not only his own past but also that of the various members of his family.With this well-written family saga, author Tatiana de Rosnay did an incredible job presenting an emotional story that was at the same time heartbreaking yet also uplifting. This is very much a story about love and family relationships, but also about redemption, identity, and also the power of uniting together as a family in the face of crisis. As a character-driven story, this was more of a slow-burn narrative that took awhile to get into, but it’s one that pays off in the end with a story that was absolutely well-told. The family at the center of the story was so well-depicted, with flaws and dysfunctions that many of us could relate to – this was a family that grew on me, to the point that at the end, I didn’t want to let them go. Aside from the Malegarde family though, another important character in the story was the rain itself, which factored into the narrative in various places, serving as a constant throughout the story. In terms of the writing, the prose was wonderfully rendered, with sparse dialogue and long descriptive paragraphs that made the surrounding environment – the rain, the flood and its effects, etc. – truly come alive. This was truly an introspective novel, one that I enjoyed for both the story and the characters as well as the atmospheric mood it invoked – sad and somber yet not entirely devoid of hope. I know this is the same author who wrote Sarah’s Key , which is a book I’ve had on my “to-read” list for quite some time already – I look forward to reading that one even more now. Received ARC from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley
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  • Stacey
    January 1, 1970
    The Rain Watcher is a family drama that slowly unfolds. Put that in contrast to the unrelenting rain and swiftly rising waters of the Seine River. There is a sense of urgency from beginning to end wrapped around a family crisis.Our narrator is Linden, a successful photographer living in San Francisco. He will meet his older sister, Tilia and his parents Paul and Lauren in Paris for Paul’s 70th birthday. Paul is an internationally known arborist and he tends the trees that have been on his family The Rain Watcher is a family drama that slowly unfolds. Put that in contrast to the unrelenting rain and swiftly rising waters of the Seine River. There is a sense of urgency from beginning to end wrapped around a family crisis.Our narrator is Linden, a successful photographer living in San Francisco. He will meet his older sister, Tilia and his parents Paul and Lauren in Paris for Paul’s 70th birthday. Paul is an internationally known arborist and he tends the trees that have been on his family’s property for generations. Through Linden’s lense the family dynamics are played out along with the weaknesses and gradual disintegration of family. During the birthday celebration tragedy strikes and alters the Malegarde’s festive reunion. A steady, consistent pulse beats as the river rises and family secrets start to surface. Amid tragedy each member confronts their darkest times.This novel starts with a tree and a fitting symbol it is. A tree is strong and noble with age, but without nurturing and care it will die. The same can be said about relationships. The natural elements in The Rain Watcher are powerful and atmospheric. I curled up in my favorite chair, clutched my warm, dry blanket a little tighter, and savored the writing.Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an advance copy.
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  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    January 1, 1970
    THE RAIN WATCHER is the first book I've read by Tatiana de Rosnay and I'm impressed by how the story got under my skin. I watched the movie version of SARAH'S KEY a couple of years ago and it was fabulous. For some time I have wanted to read Tatiana de Rosnay's work, and I am glad to have started with THE RAIN WATCHER<.READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!
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  • Bam
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. What can go wrong when a family decides to meet in Paris to celebrate the father's 70th birthday and the parents' 40th anniversary? How about everything? Let's start with the weather. Paris is experiencing torrential rains--what will happen when, not if, the Seine reaches historic flood levels? Is this the result of global warming and spreading development or is it just nature expressing its supremacy over man? The father, Paul Malegarde, is a French arborist, who travels around the w 3.5 stars. What can go wrong when a family decides to meet in Paris to celebrate the father's 70th birthday and the parents' 40th anniversary? How about everything? Let's start with the weather. Paris is experiencing torrential rains--what will happen when, not if, the Seine reaches historic flood levels? Is this the result of global warming and spreading development or is it just nature expressing its supremacy over man? The father, Paul Malegarde, is a French arborist, who travels around the world speaking about the importance of saving our trees. As the family gathers in Paris, they are concerned about his health, with good reason as it turns out. His wife, Lauren is an American who may not be as happy in her marriage as everyone assumes. The rotten Parisian weather plays havoc with her health as well. The story is told by their son Linden in third person narrative. Linden is a well-known photographer living with his partner Sacha in San Francisco. He feels his homosexuality has raised a barrier that prevents the closeness he'd like to have with his family, especially with his father. Can he find a way to make it right before it's too late? The daughter Tilia is married and living in London with her alcoholic husband and teenaged daughter from a previous marriage. She is still haunted by the horrific accident that killed her friends and left her physically and emotionally damaged. Why was she the only one to survive? So many secrets! At the beginning of each part of the story, there is a little journal-like entry written by Paul about something horrible he experienced as a four-year-old boy. Slowly, tantalizingly, that hidden story is revealed as we read along. I liked the way she tied that in at the end!Tatiana de Rosnay is a favorite author of mine; she is a remarkably good writer. If I have any criticism, it would be that I found some of the story to be repetitive. De Rosnay obviously knows Paris very well and takes us around it almost street by street. As someone who has lived through two floods myself, I squirmed over the flooding scenes in the story. The author depicts that well: the desperation and helpless feeling, the damage caused, the pollution and even the stench. Add to that, the fear of looting carried on by despicable people taking advantage of circumstances. De Rosnay writes well about family dynamics and the secrets that are kept. Many relive painful memories. Perhaps we should all learn to let them go. In the author's afterword, she mentions several books that helped her write her book, including one of my favorites: The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. I received both an ebook arc from the publisher via NetGalley and a paper copy from Jordan Hanley, Associate Marketing Manager @St Martin's Press. Very grateful for the opportunity to read and give an honest review. Many thanks!
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  • Zoe
    January 1, 1970
    Vivid, captivating, and melancholic!The Rain Watcher is a moving, beautiful portrayal of a city in turmoil and a family struggling to understand, accept, and outwardly show compassion and love for each other.The writing is impassioned and eloquent. The characters are empathetic, distressed, and genuine. And the plot is a mesmeric, foreboding tale set both in the present day and mid-1900s about life, loss, love, family dynamics, secrets, determination, hope, sacrifice, and the desolation and dest Vivid, captivating, and melancholic!The Rain Watcher is a moving, beautiful portrayal of a city in turmoil and a family struggling to understand, accept, and outwardly show compassion and love for each other.The writing is impassioned and eloquent. The characters are empathetic, distressed, and genuine. And the plot is a mesmeric, foreboding tale set both in the present day and mid-1900s about life, loss, love, family dynamics, secrets, determination, hope, sacrifice, and the desolation and destruction mother nature can reap.The Rain Watcher is a wonderful blend of historical facts, intriguing fiction, and palpable emotion. It’s a nostalgic, heartbreaking, consuming tale that reminds us of the complex relationship that can exist between a father and son and highlights once again de Rosnay's insight and passion for La Ville-Lumière.Thank you to St. Martins Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Krista
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: 2 stars This is such a hard review for me to write. I fell headlong in love with de Rosnay’s earlier work, ‘Sarah's Key’, and was anticipating a similar experience with her newest book, ‘The Rain Watcher’. Alas, this book was not a repeat performance for me. I think that if I had to sum up this book in one word, it would be ‘dreary’. Like ‘‘Sarah's Key’, this book is principally set in Paris, but the comparisons end there. This is mainly contemporary fiction about how a flood of the hist Rating: 2 stars This is such a hard review for me to write. I fell headlong in love with de Rosnay’s earlier work, ‘Sarah's Key’, and was anticipating a similar experience with her newest book, ‘The Rain Watcher’. Alas, this book was not a repeat performance for me. I think that if I had to sum up this book in one word, it would be ‘dreary’. Like ‘‘Sarah's Key’, this book is principally set in Paris, but the comparisons end there. This is mainly contemporary fiction about how a flood of the historic 1910 Paris Flood proportions would affect present day Paris. The Malegarde family story opens with rain greeting them when they arrive in Paris from all parts of the world to celebrate the father’s 70th birthday, and it is unrelenting throughout the rest of the book. The son, Linden Malegarde, is the narrator of the book and it’s through his eyes that we encounter the ever expanding catastrophe that hits Paris as the Seine continues to rise.The Malegarde family is not a jolly close-knit family. Linden, who has become a successful photographer, hasn’t seen his parents in quite a few years. His sister Tilia, and her 18 year-old daughter Mistral live in London, and are coping (or not coping) with Tilia’s husband’s alcoholism. Paul is a world renowned advocate for trees, but he seems to be able to communicate with the trees better than he can communicate with his family.Various family secrects are revealed, and a crisis arises, as Lindin travels through Paris on foot and then by boat. The story of the family and the story of the flood are intertwined, and both get about the same amount of space on the page. After awhile I got really weary of having many specific street names and descriptions of what used to be on particular street corners called out. I’ve visited Paris a few times so I at least had some idea about what was being affected in the flood. If you have not visited Paris, I suspect that you might become weary of the litany of street names even more quickly than I did.While the writing was good, both subject matters, the family and the flood, soon had me wishing for a quick end to the book. Many of my friends have given this book high praise. I may be in the minority, but this book just wasn’t for me‘Thank-You’ to NetGalley; the publisher, St Martin’s Press; and the author, Tatiana de Rosnay; for providing a free e-ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Linden wondered why his mother organized a family get together in Paris for his father’s 70th birthday since his father didn’t like Paris.In addition to his dislike of Paris, Paris was having torrential rainfall with threats of flooding. The rain and flooding continued throughout their time in Paris and throughout the book with worries it would be as bad if not worse than the Paris floods of 1910.THE RAIN WATCHER brings together this family of four from Venozan, London, and San Francisco - no s Linden wondered why his mother organized a family get together in Paris for his father’s 70th birthday since his father didn’t like Paris.In addition to his dislike of Paris, Paris was having torrential rainfall with threats of flooding. The rain and flooding continued throughout their time in Paris and throughout the book with worries it would be as bad if not worse than the Paris floods of 1910.THE RAIN WATCHER brings together this family of four from Venozan, London, and San Francisco - no spouses or children - just the four of them. We meet Linden from San Francisco who never got along with his father, Tilia from London who is unhappily married for the second time, and Paul and Lauren their parents. All the characters seemed to have something to hide, but you warmed up to them as the book continued.The children had grown up in Venozan after their parents met when Lauren was on a vacation in France more than 30 years ago. It was a whirlwind romance that had Lauren never going back to the states.The family was still indifferent as always as they gathered together for breakfast and the rain continued to pour down. Lauren insisted they were in a non-flood area of Paris and should continue with their celebration plans.Their celebration was wonderful until something tragic happened at the restaurant and Lauren became ill as well.Besides being part of family issues and seeing how people interact, there was a lot of interesting information about photography. Linden was a famous photographer with a photo of his father taken years ago that made him famous. There is also wonderful information about plants and gardening and Paris.THE RAIN WATCHER is beautifully written and pulls you into the story line with Ms. De Rosnay’s marvelous storytelling skills and details about every situation. If you like rainstorms and family drama, this book will be of interest. 4/5This book was given to me by the publisher via NETGALLEY and in print in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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