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
ReleaseOct 23rd, 2018
PublisherSt. Martin's Press
ISBN-139781250200013
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Cultural, France, Literary Fiction

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.
    more
  • Elyse
    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
    more
  • 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.
    more
  • 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.
    more
  • 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.
    more
  • 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.
    more
  • 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
    more
  • 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.
    more
  • 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.
    more
  • 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.
    more
  • The Lit Bitch
    January 1, 1970
    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 he 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.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.See my full review here
    more
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Five Glorious Stars for this beautifully written book. Thank you to Goodreads and the publisher for the opportunity to read an early copy, through the giveaway program. The Giveaway concept is meant to help an author create buzz for a new book - for this one that is delightfully easy to do. There is a certain pleasure in being one of the first people to read a book that is going to sweep hearts and shelves. This time the pleasure was mine.Can I confess? I have read other books by Tatiana de Rose Five Glorious Stars for this beautifully written book. Thank you to Goodreads and the publisher for the opportunity to read an early copy, through the giveaway program. The Giveaway concept is meant to help an author create buzz for a new book - for this one that is delightfully easy to do. There is a certain pleasure in being one of the first people to read a book that is going to sweep hearts and shelves. This time the pleasure was mine.Can I confess? I have read other books by Tatiana de Rosenay, and while I have found her books to beautifully written and forever impactful, I find them haunting - and certain images were so difficult, I actually had wished I hadn't read them. I'm speaking to Sarah's Key specifically. Admittedly, I had a four year old at the time that book emerged and the content matter was simply too close to home. Haunting is the word I would use over and over and over again for this writer - only in the Rain Watcher, it worked so beautifully well. Each of the characters are haunted and enveloped in an unusual way - and the the author has us deeply understand how their pasts, present, and even future combine in this extraordinary moment, where nature holds the power.We discover in the opening pages (you all know how protective I am of spoilers of any kind - I want each and all of you to have the fullest possible experience) that a small family is gathering in Paris for a reunion. At the same time, waters are rising in Paris (the Seine) to an unusual and dangerous level, threatening to flood and envelop the city. While a beautiful and vibrant city lies in turmoil and ravaging danger, each of these characters are confronting their own internal demons that are rising, enveloping their very being, and find a way to not overcome nature, but to be one with it. It was gorgeously done. I would read this one again, simply for the pleasure of the writing. Its a top ten book for me, and unforgettable over a lifetime. Five Gloriously earned stars. Coming out in October 2018.
    more
  • 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.
    more
  • Martie Nees Record
    January 1, 1970
    Genre: Historical and General FictionThe rain watcherPublisher: St. Martin’s PressPub. Date: October 23, 2018To begin with, let me tell you that the real characters in this family saga are not the characters, but rather Paris itself and the weather. I read and enjoyed Tatiana de Rosnay’s previous historical novel “Sarah’s Key” which also takes place in Paris but during WWII. I found her soon to be published novel, “The Rain Watcher” less enjoyable. The story mostly takes place in the present. Th Genre: Historical and General FictionThe rain watcherPublisher: St. Martin’s PressPub. Date: October 23, 2018To begin with, let me tell you that the real characters in this family saga are not the characters, but rather Paris itself and the weather. I read and enjoyed Tatiana de Rosnay’s previous historical novel “Sarah’s Key” which also takes place in Paris but during WWII. I found her soon to be published novel, “The Rain Watcher” less enjoyable. The story mostly takes place in the present. The author’s descriptions of the city in a natural crisis will take your breath away. Unfortunately, the rest of the plot will not.In this tearjerker, you will meet a family whose members are filled with pent-up tensions along with secrets (sounds like most families to me). The adult daughter and son are joining their parents in Paris for their dad’s 70th birthday. Both offspring suffer from Post Traumatic Stress for different reasons. The son is gay and was bullied as a child. At almost 40, he still has not come out to his dad. The daughter as a teen was in a car accident where she was the sole survivor. The mother has her own secrets. The son is a well-known photographer. The story is narrated in the first person through his photographer’s lens—good descriptive writing. In a nutshell, the dad has a stroke and the mother gets pneumonia. Somehow, while taking care of their parents, they all heal as a family. If only it is this easy in real life. Not even one shrink makes it into the plot filled with dysfunctional characters. I didn’t expect to find such a worn out cliché from this talented author.Now here is the interesting part of the novel and why the book can be marketed as historical fiction: In between the soap opera, we learn about the evocation of Paris in 1910 when the actual Seine River flooded. The powerful event is well researched and horrifying. In “Rain” we read a fictional story that’s set in midst of a real disaster. The father is now in the hospital. He cannot communicate but is aware of what is happening as the evacuation begins. This is the best writing in the book. The water floods the first floor of the hospital and panic sets in. The City of Lights is now without electric light. You will feel the father’s terror as he is moved in a coffin-like sealed casing. Think of the movie, “The Poseidon Adventure” but in a building filled with sick, helpless people. Unfortunately, this chapter is not enough to save the novel, with its ceaseless rain, which gives the whole book a dreary feel. Although much happens, it is still a slow read. As I said, all in all, this is a story about Parisian weather and not much else.I received this Advance Review Copy (ARC) novel from the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest review.Find all my book reviews at:Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list…Leave Me Alone I am Reading & Reviewing: https://books6259.wordpress.com/Twitter: Martie’s Book Reviews: https://twitter.com/NeesRecord
    more
  • Zoe
    January 1, 1970
    Vivid, captivating, and melancholic!A beautiful portrayal of a city in turmoil and a family struggling to understand, accept, and outwardly show compassion and love for each other.Full review to follow shortly.
  • Kathy Sandlin
    January 1, 1970
    I loved Sarah's Key from Tatiana de Rosnay so I was very excited to read this book and I love the cover. I was immediately drawn into the story about a family that meets in Paris to celebrate the father's 70th birthday. After you initially meet the family the story started getting scattered and repetitive. You know as soon as you meet everyone that things are being left unsaid and not talked about that is probably similar to most families. The issues are resolved throughout the book and that is I loved Sarah's Key from Tatiana de Rosnay so I was very excited to read this book and I love the cover. I was immediately drawn into the story about a family that meets in Paris to celebrate the father's 70th birthday. After you initially meet the family the story started getting scattered and repetitive. You know as soon as you meet everyone that things are being left unsaid and not talked about that is probably similar to most families. The issues are resolved throughout the book and that is what helped me finish it but there was a lot in between that didn't hold my interest. I was also very confused about the story with Susanne and how that ended and why it was included in the story. I was a bit taken back at the end and was surprised when I read the last word. Thank you Net Galley for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • 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.
    more
  • TJ
    January 1, 1970
    I read Sarah’s Key a year ago and absolutely loved it, so I was very excited to receive a free copy of The Rain Watcher expecting to be wowed one more time. That was not the case. I have to say when I read the last paragraph, my first thought was “you have got to be kidding me.” I have never read a book that ended so abruptly that left so many questions unanswered. Unfortunately I was never drawn in to care enough about the characters to even read a sequel if there is going to be one. I struggle I read Sarah’s Key a year ago and absolutely loved it, so I was very excited to receive a free copy of The Rain Watcher expecting to be wowed one more time. That was not the case. I have to say when I read the last paragraph, my first thought was “you have got to be kidding me.” I have never read a book that ended so abruptly that left so many questions unanswered. Unfortunately I was never drawn in to care enough about the characters to even read a sequel if there is going to be one. I struggled with this book for quite a while, and seriously thought about not finishing it, but I had faith in the author from Sarah’s Key that it would take off and we would find a direction, that didn’t happen. This story is mostly about Linden and his relationship with his parents, his aunt Candace, his sister and his male lover. We follow his sleepless nights as he deals with his father’s illness and he walks the streets of Paris re-living when he was younger. I found several things really odd, for one, Linden did not call his parents by mom or dad until the very end, he called them by Lauren and Paul. His sister was struggling just about as much as Linden is, due to a tragic car accident where she was the only survivor. Linden’s relationship with his niece was probably the best part of the book. This was just not my kind of book. 2**’s. I thank Net Galley and St. Martin’s Press for allowing me to receive a free copy for my honest review. This one gets 2**’s. I wish I could do a little better than 2**’s but can’t.
    more
  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    FULL REVIEW WILL BE ON OCTOBER 23."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 rain fall 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 is beautifully written and pulls you into the story FULL REVIEW WILL BE ON OCTOBER 23."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 rain fall 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 is beautifully written and pulls you into the story line with Ms. Rosnay’s marvelous storytelling skills and details about every situation. 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.V
    more
  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    I am normally a very fast reader but I read this book slowly so that I could savor every word and marvel at the way the family secrets were brought to the light. I love Paris and felt like I had taken a wet and rainy mini-vacation after I finished it. I loved the family and they are not characters that I'll soon forget.The Malegarde family is meeting in Paris to celebrate Paul's 70th birthday and the anniversary of Paul and Lauren. They both traveled to Paris from the Drome Valley to spend the w I am normally a very fast reader but I read this book slowly so that I could savor every word and marvel at the way the family secrets were brought to the light. I love Paris and felt like I had taken a wet and rainy mini-vacation after I finished it. I loved the family and they are not characters that I'll soon forget.The Malegarde family is meeting in Paris to celebrate Paul's 70th birthday and the anniversary of Paul and Lauren. They both traveled to Paris from the Drome Valley to spend the weekend with their two children - Tilia who is an artist and lives in London with her second husband in a rocky marriage and Linden who lives in San Francisco with his lover. Linden is a world renowned photographer who sees the world best through the eye of a camera. When the family all arrives in Paris, it has been raining for days but as the rain continues, the Seine begins to rise to levels not seen since the flood of 1910, the city begins to flood and shut down. In the midst of the devastation in Paris, Paul suffers a stroke and is taken to the hospital and Lauren is stricken with pneumonia. This is a family who love each other but don't really understand each other. They are hiding secrets and resentments from each other. As they get cut off from the rest of the world in the floods, their secrets start to come to light as they learn more about the other family members.This is a beautifully written novel about the devastation of Paris in a flood and the flood of feeling that this family must release to better understand each other. It will make you miss Paris if you've ever been there or make you want to make plans for a trip to Paris. I LOVED IT!Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.
    more
  • Diane
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for sending me this electronic copy in exchange for an honest review. #TheRainWatcher #NetGalleyI was over half way through this book before I discovered any resemblance to a plot and/or story line. Basically it is a story about a family that planned to reunite in Paris to celebrate the father's birthday. The two grown children came from San Francisco and London to meet their parents. Once they family all arrived, the river began to rise due to many day Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for sending me this electronic copy in exchange for an honest review. #TheRainWatcher #NetGalleyI was over half way through this book before I discovered any resemblance to a plot and/or story line. Basically it is a story about a family that planned to reunite in Paris to celebrate the father's birthday. The two grown children came from San Francisco and London to meet their parents. Once they family all arrived, the river began to rise due to many days of torrent rain. There was a grave danger of a flood. There were many references to the flood, but I failed to see the connection to the story...unless it was symbolism of the flood of family emotions??? While celebrating a birthday dinner, the father has a stroke and ended up in the hospital in an unconsciousness state. By the way, the father was a huge David Bowie fan. The main character, Linden, begins to lament about his aunt who died several years ago. He lived with her a while and they were very close. Then he relived when he first told his mother that he was Gay. He to ths point in his life had not come out to his father. There is also a bit about his sister who survived a terrible car crash when she was a teenager and is now married to a drunk. There are hints that the mother is having on ongoing affair with her ex fiances from her younger life. If you are trying to connect some dots...do not bother. The dots do not connect. I am sorry for such a negative review :(
    more
  • Molly
    January 1, 1970
    THE RAIN WATCHER This is a beautiful and tender novel. As a family reunite in Paris to celebrate the father's 70th birthday, a natural disaster and family illness set the stage for emotions to run high. Throughout the days of unrelenting rain, as Paris floods, we discover the details and secrets of each member of the family. What I found so enjoyable about this book were the fantastic descriptions and details. I felt like I was right down in the midst of the rain and oppressiveness, in contrast THE RAIN WATCHER This is a beautiful and tender novel. As a family reunite in Paris to celebrate the father's 70th birthday, a natural disaster and family illness set the stage for emotions to run high. Throughout the days of unrelenting rain, as Paris floods, we discover the details and secrets of each member of the family. What I found so enjoyable about this book were the fantastic descriptions and details. I felt like I was right down in the midst of the rain and oppressiveness, in contrast with all the beauty of Paris. I also liked the structure of this book, the way the characters are revealed by bits and pieces throughout the current stormy weather. I loved the depth of feeling. And of course, David Bowie.I think that this is a book that is best read slowly in order to enjoy the fine details and to appreciate the emotional journey. There is a good deal of serious sadness here, but it is also uplifting and real. It is just beautiful.I would like to thank NetGalley, Tatiana de Rosnay, and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read and review this book.
    more
  • Mrsk Stephen
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! It's not often that I have to re-read a novel to come to an understanding of its theme. In her latest novel, The Rain Watcher, Tatiana de Rosnay draws the reader into a character study of a family who are stranded in Paris as the Seine overflows its banks. The severe flooding and disastrous drowning of the city makes an apt metaphor for a family that is drowning in secrets. As the water continues to rise to historic levels the family is both physically and emotionally trapped in Paris as th Wow! It's not often that I have to re-read a novel to come to an understanding of its theme. In her latest novel, The Rain Watcher, Tatiana de Rosnay draws the reader into a character study of a family who are stranded in Paris as the Seine overflows its banks. The severe flooding and disastrous drowning of the city makes an apt metaphor for a family that is drowning in secrets. As the water continues to rise to historic levels the family is both physically and emotionally trapped in Paris as their father, Paul; aka “The Tree Man”, suffers a critical medical emergency.On the surface, the narrator, Linden, a world famous photographer, the only son of Paul appears to be the main character in the novel. He takes charge of the family's crisis while his mother is bedridden with pneumonia, his sister is trapped by her own terror of hospitals, his brother-in-law is a hopeless drunk, his gay lover is half a world away and his teenage niece appears to be the only other voice of reason. But dig deeper, dear Reader. Reflect. Go back. Re-read. Mediate on the trees. Why has Paul named both his children after his beloved Linden tree? Why is this man so shy and reserved, only feeling truly comfortable among his beloved trees? Why is Paul such a fan of the late, great David Bowie? Your best clue is the epigraph to the novel which is, “The stars look very different today” from Bowie's Space Oddity. A song that is known to be a reflection on Bowie's dark past. The final hint I will give you, without revealing any spoilers is, “ . . . everything begins, and ends, with the tree . . .” is actually an allegory.If you like a book that will keep you thinking for a long time then this is the book for you!
    more
  • Ashley (5171MilesBooks)
    January 1, 1970
    See full review at: 5171 Miles Book Blog.Many thanks to St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for the chance to read and review this novel early.The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay was one of my most anticipated reads for the end of 2018 due to my love of the author's previous book, Sarah's Key. Sarah's Key is solely responsible for spurring my love of World War II Historical Fiction, and is on the list of my all-time favorite reads. It was a book I read and loved long before I was an avid reader, See full review at: 5171 Miles Book Blog.Many thanks to St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for the chance to read and review this novel early.The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay was one of my most anticipated reads for the end of 2018 due to my love of the author's previous book, Sarah's Key. Sarah's Key is solely responsible for spurring my love of World War II Historical Fiction, and is on the list of my all-time favorite reads. It was a book I read and loved long before I was an avid reader, a book that stands out in my mind years after finishing it, and a truly beautiful and moving story. I expected nothing less from The Rain Watcher, a novel that caught my eye thanks to the gorgeous cover, talented author, and title.Unfortunately, The Rain Watcher did not live up to my expectations in the slightest. I actually wish I would have stopped reading before I made it to the halfway point in this story. Being an optimist, I kept waiting for something to happen after the slow build, and before I knew it I was nearly halfway through the novel. At that point, it felt like a waste of time to stop reading and a waste of time to continue. For the sake of writing a review, I decided I needed to understand the whole story, whether it was good or bad. The first issue with this novel for me was the narrative style the story was told in. I felt like it took away from the reading experience by not allowing me to connect with the characters in the way I hoped to, especially in a book by this author. Further, the writing style made the story feel as if it were going in many directions with each member of the family and their respective stories, rather than focusing on the main characters exclusively. This gave the implication of many things happening, but when I evaluated the story, nothing seemed to transpire.On the whole, this novel was incredibly boring. I actually fell asleep twice while reading and other times would find my mind wandering, forcing me to go back and re-read, only to realize my mind had wandered to more interesting thoughts once again. I wanted desperately for an event to happen to catch and hold my interest, but sadly, it never did.In my opinion, readers who are familiar with Paris streets and landmarks will feel more interested and eager to read the story. For someone who isn't familiar with the city, the long descriptions of places in relation to others became tedious and overdone. This also kept the storyline mainly relating to the flood of the Seine from being as interesting as it could have been. Overall, I didn't really understand the point of the story. I felt like the author was trying to push an agenda that is dear to heart, though it is one I don't prefer to have shoved down my throat while reading. I wish this had been indicated in the blurb, rather than sprung on me through the course of the book. I also wish something exciting had happened! It was a shame to wait and wait and be entirely let down. This novel has its place and will surely find readers who relate to the family story at the heart of the book. I only wish I could be one of those people. The Rain Watcher releases October 23rd.
    more
  • Joy D
    January 1, 1970
    Contemporary fiction about a family of four getting together in Paris for a family reunion in honor of his father’s seventieth birthday, told from the point of view of the son, Linden Malegarde, an acclaimed professional photographer. The father is a French arborist, the mother an American, the daughter a painter married to an alcoholic. This family reunion has gone terribly wrong, involving medical issues and a natural disaster. Each family member holds at least one secret, and each has experie Contemporary fiction about a family of four getting together in Paris for a family reunion in honor of his father’s seventieth birthday, told from the point of view of the son, Linden Malegarde, an acclaimed professional photographer. The father is a French arborist, the mother an American, the daughter a painter married to an alcoholic. This family reunion has gone terribly wrong, involving medical issues and a natural disaster. Each family member holds at least one secret, and each has experienced trauma. The plot is rather slow building and the tone is sorrowful. The desire to find out the hinted secrets kept me interested. The sympathetic main character is well-developed, and the family interactions were believable. The author explores issues around what it is like for a gay man struggling to feel accepted. At times it felt too detailed and repetitious, but overall, I found it a solid story with tender moments. Recommended to readers that enjoy family dramas or those familiar with the city of Paris, as it prominently features many Parisian sites and landmarks. I received this book in a Goodreads Giveaway with a request for a candid review.
    more
  • Enchantress debbicat ☮
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars rounded up to 4. Great setting and descriptions. I truly felt like I was there in rainy Paris waiting for a flood. I felt the fear, the angst, the heaviness, the sleeplessness. As someone who lives on the Gulf Coast and knows about flooding due to hurricanes, I was fully engaged in all the emotions this story could evoke. Well fleshed out characters that I can easily relate to. A gay son who can't tell his dad who he is. A wife that seeks love and the attention from an old lover rather 3.5 stars rounded up to 4. Great setting and descriptions. I truly felt like I was there in rainy Paris waiting for a flood. I felt the fear, the angst, the heaviness, the sleeplessness. As someone who lives on the Gulf Coast and knows about flooding due to hurricanes, I was fully engaged in all the emotions this story could evoke. Well fleshed out characters that I can easily relate to. A gay son who can't tell his dad who he is. A wife that seeks love and the attention from an old lover rather than her husband, a daughter who has never recovered from her own personal tragedy of being the sole survivor in a car accident.... This is about a family who comes together in Paris for a birthday and anniversary. We know pretty soon that there are a lot of secrets than have been kept from each other and those unfold painfully as tragedy strikes. It's slow at times and a heavy read. More sadness than I had expected. I definitely need something lighter to read after this. Very well written and I can see why friends rated it so high. The ending left me asking more questions than I like. I needed a few more answers. But, it was beautiful...learning about trees, the flood, the city. So much here to like. Thank you St. Martin's Press via NetGalley and Tatiana de Rosnay for a digital ARC to read in exchange for a review. I do recommend this.
    more
  • Toni Osborne
    January 1, 1970
    Set in Paris during a stunning natural disaster “The Rain Watcher is a drama that slowly unfolds the Malegarde’s family secrets. Paul and Lauren Malegarde are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary and Paul 70th birthday with their two adult children but unfortunately the reunion doesn’t go as planned. The streets of Paris are waterlogged and the Seine is still rising at a rapid pace amongst the chaos sickness is at the family door…..The atmosphere in Paris is dark: electricity is out, it is Set in Paris during a stunning natural disaster “The Rain Watcher is a drama that slowly unfolds the Malegarde’s family secrets. Paul and Lauren Malegarde are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary and Paul 70th birthday with their two adult children but unfortunately the reunion doesn’t go as planned. The streets of Paris are waterlogged and the Seine is still rising at a rapid pace amongst the chaos sickness is at the family door…..The atmosphere in Paris is dark: electricity is out, it is cold: no one has heat and everything is wet: water is still rising and flooding basements: one catastrophe after the other is at everyone’s door. While everything is going haywire in the city of lights, Linden, the Malegarde youngest son analyses and critics his relationships with each member of his family in a very moving tone. His narration is the heart of this story.This is a story of love and redemption where everyone has withheld something. Secrets… sounds intriguing but what a letdown, as it moves along in an snail pace, the story soon goes in random directions and becomes repetitive. There are a lot of dots to connect but don’t try to do so, you will be questioning yourself wondering if you missed a point... Most of the book is about the flood but I failed to match this with the family saga. Was this story about the hardship of the flood or the family reunion gone badly?Finally, this family with a dysfunctional background slowly reveals their secrets: memories trigger a deluge of emotions in its members….and bonds finally tightens but is it too late…..More thoughts:Although the writing is fluid and all the descriptions of Paris in the rain are wonderful, unfortunately, despite Ms. De Rosnay great writing skills and beautiful descriptions, I never really got into this book; I found it long and devoid of suspense. The story is bland, the characters without consistency, I was bored and had trouble finishing the book.... in short, a colorless novel, odorless and tasteless….Not Ms. De Rosnay best….I received this ARC from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalleys for my thoughts
    more
  • Terry ~ Huntress of Erudition
    January 1, 1970
    Very well written family drama which takes place in modern day Paris during a massive flood, with continuous rain and the Seine rising to record breaking heights, paralyzing the city and suburbs. A family is gathering for a reunion with both affirmative and tragic results. Long kept secrets are revealed and everyone finds out more about themselves and others than they might want to know.Tatiana De Rosnay has created a depth of emotion that keeps the reader thinking about the characters, even whe Very well written family drama which takes place in modern day Paris during a massive flood, with continuous rain and the Seine rising to record breaking heights, paralyzing the city and suburbs. A family is gathering for a reunion with both affirmative and tragic results. Long kept secrets are revealed and everyone finds out more about themselves and others than they might want to know.Tatiana De Rosnay has created a depth of emotion that keeps the reader thinking about the characters, even when not reading the book. I liked the narrative and the authentic setting drew me in because I plan to travel to Paris for the first time next month. It also has been raining almost non stop here in N.Y. for the past week!I really like this author and would like to read more of her work.
    more
  • Lorrie
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my goodness! I don’t know what to think! I want to write a review about this book while everything is sharp in my mind; while at the same time, I want to just go sit and think about it for a bit. This book is so very different from the author’s very popular novel “Sarah’s Key”. It’s as different as Elizabeth Gilbert’s first two novels—of which I also loved both. Or as different as JK Rowling’s HP series and “Casual Vacancy”. What is the same and obvious in both of de Rosnay’s novels is her co Oh my goodness! I don’t know what to think! I want to write a review about this book while everything is sharp in my mind; while at the same time, I want to just go sit and think about it for a bit. This book is so very different from the author’s very popular novel “Sarah’s Key”. It’s as different as Elizabeth Gilbert’s first two novels—of which I also loved both. Or as different as JK Rowling’s HP series and “Casual Vacancy”. What is the same and obvious in both of de Rosnay’s novels is her command of words with the ability to enable the reader to feel the characters’ souls. Wow! I need to think for a bit.Thank you, Ms de Rosnay, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ARC free of charge.
    more
  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    On June 3rd 2016 the level of the Seine reached 5.58 m in Paris. Perhaps not comparable to 1910 when it reached 8.42m causing extensive damage. https://www.atlas-mag.net/en/article/...Now in 2018 we have this eloquent, heartbreaking, and magically heartwarming story provided by Tatiana de Rosnay which built upon the tragedies of earlier days for the Parisians and the Malegarde Family.Each character has it's own unique style and story to bring with each struggling to right the wrongs of the past. On June 3rd 2016 the level of the Seine reached 5.58 m in Paris. Perhaps not comparable to 1910 when it reached 8.42m causing extensive damage. https://www.atlas-mag.net/en/article/...Now in 2018 we have this eloquent, heartbreaking, and magically heartwarming story provided by Tatiana de Rosnay which built upon the tragedies of earlier days for the Parisians and the Malegarde Family.Each character has it's own unique style and story to bring with each struggling to right the wrongs of the past.A family reunion was planned months prior to the flood, with Paul and Lauren seeking to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. The main patriarch Paul was to celebrate his 70th birthday in style.However, what's planned doesn't always come to fruition.Life throws us curves.Linden seems to be the one who holds it all together while also holding in some immense and deeply personal pain. His homosexuality was never accepted by his family. He's had his share of regrets, tragedy, and heartbreak over the years."The rain has become part and parcel of his life." "Learn to live with it's dampness it's pitter-patter."Meanwhile Lauren was the planner . She was also the one who felt the worst about her current circumstances, how she raised Linden, how she treated him unfairly, and reminisced about the day's now gone. She had high hopes of only inviting two of her children w/o their extended family.Talia the oldest was married to an alcoholic named Colin whom she tried to keep away from her Mistral her pride and joy.Paul is also an interesting character who plays the role of 'Tree Man' and invites us to the passionate beauty of nature.Linden had a natural eye for beauty especially with regard to the powerful forces of nature. His heart was full of love and empathy.Sickness evades this happy home and disrupts these happy lives. The father Paul came down with a stroke while the mother Lauren was diagnosed with the flu only to learn it was pneumonia.As the lights go down, the power shuts off, the situation becomes dire with bodies turning up with children crying we learn the truths."I don't know how your father is going to take this." Words so heart crushing Linden can hear them in his sleep.As the Seine overflows out of its banks the story takes on a new dimension. Boundaries are gone. Walls are coming down. Compassion is entering.Four girls lose their lives when hit by a drunkard . One hit so hard she is decapitated with the head landing in her best friends lap.If this wasn't shocking enough, the story behind Candice the aunt will be equally troubling and emotionally gut wrenching.Candice has hit the final straw. She wants out. She takes her own life. However, this loving aunt, the one who knew Linden best is not done.Her cute pink dress was a remembrance of love. Her aunt left behind a suicide note she had forwarded in the mail to JG a man for whom she once loved deeply.Love is fickle especially when three are involved.The letter was received but it was a day late.Lives are forever altered by one moment, one specific action, one powerful event in time.This story was captivating, enthralling, alluring, and powerfully dynamic.I highly recommend this newest work by Tatiana.Thank you to Tatiana de Rosnay , the publisher, NetGalley, and Aldiko for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.
    more
Write a review