Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Date of publication: October 30th, 2018
Genre: General Fiction
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 was one of those books that showed up on a Read Now email from NetGalley and I added it. Why I added it? Well, I liked the cover. I loved seeing the Eiffel Tower behind glass with rain on it. When I read the blurb, I figured “”Why not. The worst case scenario is that I don’t like it. The best is that I love it“. Well, my feeling for this book falls somewhere between love and hate.
I was not familiar with anything written by Tatiana De Rosnay. Since I like reading books by authors that are unknown to me, I was excited to start reading this book. My excitement was strong when I started reading The Rain Watcher. But as the book went on, my excitement started to go away. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the plotline, I did. It was the writing style. It was hard for me to get used to. That was a big consideration when it came to giving my star rating to this book.
As much as I hate saying this, I couldn’t connect with Linden, Tilla, or Lauren. It’s not that I didn’t like them, I couldn’t connect to them as a people. I did feel bad for Linden, though. He couldn’t come out to his father. Did he want to? Yes, but he was scarred by Lauren’s reaction when he told her. Tilla came across as unhappy in her life. That was the vibe I got from her. Unhappy with how her life has turned out. And Lauren, well, she wasn’t present for 90% of the book. How can I connect to a character who wasn’t there?
I did like that it was set in Paris. I didn’t understand what the author was talking about when she kept referring to the street names, neighborhoods. I had to google everything. I don’t mind googling one or two things. But when I have to google every French word/term that comes up (or use my Kindle’s translator), then it becomes tedious. Plus, I couldn’t get into the storyline as much as I wanted to.
I did like the storylines. I thought that the natural disaster that Paris went through during the book was fascinating. I also thought that the storyline with the unknown boy and his babysitter, Suzanne, was compelling. I did figure that out about halfway through who the unknown boy was. I loved how the author didn’t make the evacuation of Paris perfect and she didn’t bother to gloss over the flood. I also did like Paul’s stroke and the fall out from that. It did force Linden to think about some things that he would have rather not have. Like his Aunt Candy and Hadrian.
But there were dropped storylines as well. Like Lauren and her ex-fiance. After Linden confronted her, it went away. I wanted to know what was going on. Also, the whole Oriel and touring the city with her. That went away towards the end of the book. I was wondering what happened to her. Same with Linden’s agent, who kept texting him about his important photo shoot. Did she reschedule it or what?
The end of the book was bittersweet. I was left feeling unfulfilled and a little disappointed. What I liked was that the author didn’t make this a normal happy ending. While there were some happy elements to it, it was mostly sad. The author did a great job at wrapping up the main storylines but didn’t wrap up the secondary ones. Even though I wasn’t fond of this book, I am curious to read other books by the author.
What I liked about The Rain Watcher:
- The main storylines
- The book was set in Paris
- Great job at wrapping up the main storylines
What I disliked about The Rain Watcher:
- The writing style made the book hard to read
- I couldn’t connect with any of the main characters
- Dropped storylines
I gave The Rain Watcher a 3-star rating. While I liked the storyline and the location the book was set, I felt that the writing style overwhelmed them. I couldn’t connect with any of the main characters. Which is big, because I need to be able to connect with at least one character to make the book enjoyable to read. I also didn’t like that there were dropped storylines.
I would give The Rain Watcher an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is language. There is mild violence. There is a rape scene, while not graphic, is still disturbing. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I am on the fence if I would reread The Rain Watcher. I am also on the fence if I would recommend this book to family and friends. I am open to reading anything else by the author.
I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Rain Watcher.
All opinions stated in this review of The Rain Watcher are mine.
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**