Tuesday, October 23, 2018
The Rain Watcher by Tatiana De Rosnay
At thirty-five, Linden Malegarde is the youngest in his family. An internationally known photographer, he's witness to his family's reunion. His mother, Lauren, insists that only the immediate family meets up in Paris. Linden and his older sister, Tilia, are joining their father, Paul, and Lauren. It's a celebration of Paul's seventieth birthday, and Paul and Lauren's fortieth wedding anniversary. But, the celebration doesn't come about exactly as planned.
It's been raining for two weeks in Paris when the family arrives in January. There's no sign of it letting up, and Lauren is upset that all of her plans are falling apart. While Linden and Tilia worry about their father's appearance, Lauren brushes it off. By the time Paul collapses in a restaurant, Lauren herself is falling ill. While Tilia tends to their mother, it's Linden who accompanies Paul in the ambulance. And, it's Linden, who loves Paris, who is the witness to the city's collapse, and his father's.
As the city floods, the Malegarde family is also flooded with memories, and they're not happy ones. This family who seldom hugged, who grew apart, has secrets. As the city breaks down, the family starts to reveal their failings and their losses to Linden. "It seems to him he has become a sentinel, on the lookout for the inevitable aquatic invasion, watching over his father, over the rain, over the entire city."
Linden Malegarde may view his father, a man famous for saving trees, as the heart of the family. But, it's Linden himself who becomes the heart of the story. He's been hurt in the past, and fled the family home because of the community. His mother hurt him. He suffered from the loss of his beloved aunt. But, Linden has also been saved by people who love him. And, that love is enough to keep him moving forward in this beautiful, tragic story.
The Rain Watcher is a powerful, sometimes brutal story of Paris during a disaster. It's also the story of the Malegarde family, a family with its own story, sometimes brutal. But, like Paris, they struggle to overcome tragedy. De Rosnay's The Rain Watcher is heartwrenching at times, but worth the struggle.
Tatiana De Rosnay's website is tatianaderosnay.com
The Rain Watcher by Tatiana De Rosnay. St. Martin's Press, 2018. ISBN 9781250099136 (hardcover), 240p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.