This emotional powerhouse of a novel will leave readers reeling, as it sucks you into the story and never lets you go ... The Rain Watcher never lets up, and readers will be emotionally spent by the end of it ... The ending is an unforgettable one, as is the entire experience of The Rain Watcher. So much of the emotional connections between the family members stem from their pasts ... This sentiment calls for much reflection, as does all the events described within this deeply layered story of the Malegarde family in the face of the medical and natural threats against their well-being.
De Rosnay creates a dark and ominous atmosphere ... Paris is like a character itself here, with De Rosnay intimately describing its distinctive features and neighborhoods. She portrays its ongoing destruction in a way that is completely immersive as the river outside surpasses historic flood levels and inundates the city, transforming it into something unrecognizable.
Tatiana de Rosnay...again mines the past to deliver a powerful tale of people caught up in major moments in history ... De Rosnay is so good at this storytelling that I wish she had focused on her family/flood narrative. Her decision to intersperse a decades-old mystery adds little but distraction. My advice to readers would be to skip the italics sections and savor the story of her beloved city on the brink.
The author of the best-selling WWII-era novel Sarah’s Key (2007) offers up an equally emotional contemporary tale... Rosnay’s many fans, and all who embrace tearful tales, will enjoy the slow unraveling of the complex troubles and secrets of the Malegarde family.
...triumphant ... 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.
The evocation of Paris is worthy of Modiano, and de Rosnay’s projection of the city’s worst deluge since 1910 is not only horrifying, but timely after the actual Seine floods of January 2018. However, the novel is long on rumination and summary, short on dialogue and forward momentum. The timing of the personal revelations seems arbitrary or, at best, anticlimactic. The weather and Paris are the main attractions here, not the people.