The Rain Watcher
I didn’t read Sarah’s Key, but I had heard praise enough that when I saw the author had a new book out, I thought I’d give it a try. I’m not sure what I expected, but it wasn’t as quiet a novel as this.
The Rain Watcher is a family drama, telling the story of mother, father, daughter, and son, gathered for a family reunion to celebrate the father’s 70th birthday. Each of these four family members has a life hidden from the others; those secrets and fears are little by little exposed. There is no great mystery, no great intrigue, no great emotional twist. Revelations are more sympathetically-rendered than unexpected. But I did care about the characters, so listenedon and on. At no point was I drawn to tears. Nor did I understand the ending. Or the title. I’m sorry. Maybe someone can explain either of those to me?
And yet I’ve given this book four stars – because it is beautifully written. The setting is contemporary Paris at a time of unprecedented rainfall that results in catastrophic flooding, and the description of this is exquisite. The author has an amazing imagination and a masterful way with words. The reader can see, smell, feel Paris as the water rises higher and higher – can see, smell, feel the angst of each of the characters. Even cameo characters are described in a simple but picturesque way.
I listened to the audiobook, and the narrator was a delight.
That said, for me The Rain Watcher is about the journey, rather than the destination.