The Rain Watcher
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, set against a Paris backdrop, fraught with revelations, and resolutions.
"An absorbing tale of family secrets from the author of Sarah's Key." - People magazine
"Hypnotic, passionate, ominous and tender—unforgettable.” —Jenna Blum, New York Times and internationally bestselling author of Those Who Save Us
Linden Malegarde has come home to Paris from the United States. It has been years since the whole family was all together. Now the Malegarde family is gathering for Paul, Linden’s father’s 70th birthday.
Each member of the Malegarde family is on edge, holding their breath, afraid one wrong move will shatter their delicate harmony. Paul, the quiet patriarch, an internationally-renowned arborist obsessed with his trees and little else, has always had an uneasy relationship with his son. Lauren, his American wife, is determined that the weekend celebration will be a success. Tilia, Linden’s blunt older sister, projects an air of false fulfillment. And Linden himself, the youngest, uncomfortable in his own skin, never quite at home no matter where he lives—an American in France and a Frenchman in the U.S.—still fears that, despite his hard-won success as a celebrated photographer, he will always be a disappointment to his parents.
Their hidden fears and secrets slowly unravel as the City of Light undergoes a stunning natural disaster, and the Seine bursts its banks and floods the city. 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 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.