cover image The Rain Watcher

The Rain Watcher

Tatiana de Rosnay. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (229p) ISBN 978-1-250-20001-3

The triumphant 11th novel from de Rosnay (Sarah’s Key) follows the unraveling of long pent-up frustrations within the Malegarde family against the backdrop of a natural disaster. Linden Malegarde, a Franco-American photographer, travels to Paris to celebrate the 70th birthday of his father, Paul. But when Paul suffers a stroke and is hospitalized, Linden decides to stay indefinitely. As Paul’s health ebbs, the river Seine floods the city, relentlessly rising due to driving rain. For Linden, the Paris he knows so well becomes “hardly identifiable, yet painfully familiar,” paralleling his own feelings and memories of his adolescence. Fearing more of the rejection and bigotry he’s experienced throughout his life, Linden, who is in his late 30s, has yet to come out as gay to his father or introduce him to his longtime partner, Sacha. During the days of unexpectedly close quarters with his father, mother, and sister, Linden begins to open up and discovers that each family member has secrets and emotional wounds just as intense as his own. Throughout, de Rosnay stokes the Malegardes’ histories with raw and powerful reminisces and gorgeous descriptions. This is an emotional tour de force and a thoughtful, deliberate examination of personal tragedy and the possibility of redemption. (Oct.)