The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay

Dear Fellow Reader,

In case you ever wondered if I will not warmly embrace a book – especially one that I was asked to review (that means I got it free) – this review will be the proof.

I hate to give reviews that are not positive for three reasons. The first is that the author poured his/her soul into writing a book and I hate to say that the book just didn’t do it for me. The second reason is that you could have a totally different opinion. The last reason is, why would I waste your time reading a book review about a book that I didn’t like? There are so many books that I like and can share with you.

So I have some ambiguous feelings about this book. Let’s get on with the review, huh?

The Rain Watcher takes place in Paris. Not sunny, romantic Paris but a Paris that is flooding. Linden and his family meet in Paris to celebrate his parent’s 40th anniversary and his father’s 70th birthday. Linden grew up in France. He is a famous photographer who now lives in San Francisco with Sacha. Through the story, we find out about his life and losses. Linden has an older sister, Tilia, who is married to an alcoholic art expert. She has a daughter, Mistral, who seems more mature than her mother. (Her daughter is not the art expert’s daughter.)

Linden’s mother is an American. She was traveling in France when she was 19 and met Linden’s father, Paul. She never went home. They fell in love and have been together since the day they met. Paul is a famous “treeman”. He travels the world to save notable trees. Paul’s family has owned Venozan estate for generations which is where Linden grew up until his teens when he moved to Paris to live with his aunt.

During the story, we learn why Linden moved to Paris as a teen, how his photography career started and about his relationships with his parents and his sister. Interspersed there are chapters that (okay, it took me a little while to figure this out) are from Linden’s father. I would say to you that it is a bit hard to follow these parts. You have to put the pieces together that Linden’s sister is older, but that Paul’s sister is younger. I did not see any way to distinguish the Paul sections from the Linden sections, BUT it could be because I was reading an advanced copy. (There were some formatting issues and typos that are probably fixed in the real copy.)

The continual cold, rain, darkness, and Paris flooding serve as characters in the book. They are constant. It makes you want to read the book under a blanket.

So, most of this doesn’t sound unbelievably positive. BUT… I did finish the book. I was occasionally frustrated, but I could keep going. While I wouldn’t put this on the top of my TBR pile, you might find it interesting. Especially if you know Paris and New York neighborhood. Since I don’t, there were parts of the descriptions that left me flat. Also, there are some quotes in French that in my copy were not translated. I assume that the quotes were apropos to the chapter but since I couldn’t read what they said, it was not helpful. This also might be remedied in the published book.

Thank you for reading!

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About Carol Early Cooney

I love to read. I love to share my thoughts on books and hope to hear what you think also. Looking to see what books I read beyond those I write about? Check out my Goodreads!
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