In 2003 Tatiana De Rosnay brought us a novel of World War Two called SARAH’S KEY. It quickly became an International phenomena. Sits on the shelf in my personal library with my very favorites. To say I loved it is a gross understatement.
There have been other novels by De Rosnay over the years. But, until THE RAIN WATCHER, none were comparable. St. Martin’s has done a super job with the cover. It perfectly captures the setting and sets you up properly for what’s to come.
When it opens, Linden Malegarde, a world-renowned photographer, has just arrived in Paris for his father’s 70th birthday. The river Seine has been rising for five days, and the rain continues to come down, “a silver curtain, hissing, obstructing all daylight.” Still, Linden and his family ( no spouses, no children) gather at the Chatterton Hotel, determined not to let the catastrophic weather disrupt their plans for celebration.
Linden’s father, Paul, is a famed arborist. His mother, Lauren, is still a knock out at 61. Lauren, an American, married Paul at a young age and moved to Paris. Linden’s sister is jobless and in the midst of a midlife crisis and a very bad marriage. Everyone has their own private hell. And this torrential rain is just making it all so much worse.
This family is in crisis. This city is in crisis. The tension rises as the flood water of the Seine bursts its banks and floods the city.
The amazing back story for this novel is that the Seine has flooded in January of this year. The scenes in this novel could really have happened even though this story is fiction. The historical truth is that The City of Light does flood, and when it does it’s devastating.
This family reunion is wrought with secrets. Everyone has one. Linden has been keeping a secret from his father. Some secrets are even kept in trees.
De Rosnay has managed to make Paris come wildly to life. This is not the lively, gay Paris. This is a much darker Paris. But, still, a Paris you will recognize and love.
I am thrilled to be able to add this novel to my speaking engagements this season. It’s a great book for discussion. Thanks St. Martin’s Press for the gorgeous finished hard cover! I’m all over it !
We have copies of THE RAIN WATCHER at Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda that are discounted 20%. Come on up. We’d love to see you.