The Rain Watcher is a beautiful but hard-hitting real-life story around the reality of dealing with mortality. We follow The Malegarde family, who are like any other family where the children have grown up and their mother tries desperately to get everyone together to celebrate their father’s 70th birthday and their mother and father’s wedding anniversary. Paul is an interesting character he has spent most of his life working with trees to the extent his family consider he loves trees more than he loves them. I think most children feel like this about their parents when they have a passion for something.
Whilst they are in Paris the weather is particularly bad which leads to the river Seine flooding Paris. During this time, Paul falls dangerously ill which potentially has a threat to his life. All of the hospitals in Paris are struggling with the floods and are having to deal with a lot of sick patients and trying to keep their hospital safe and the waters at bay.
Although I may not have made it sound like an interesting book, it is a fascinating read. Tatiana explores family dynamics and relationships. Communication but not necessarily talking, but other forms are explored and understood. Lindon who is Paul’s son (and a famous photographer) takes charge to ensure his father receives the best care possible and deals with issues that have been unresolved for some time. Lindon struggles initially with the lack of communication from his father, but learns from his own profession you do not necessarily need to say anything, but body language can say a great deal more than one communicates verbally.
Linden has a period of reflection of what happened when he was younger and the struggles, he experienced with recognizing who he was as a person and his own sexuality. He walked away from his parents for a period of time and spent more time with another family member to try and find his feet and obtain his own identity. Again, you could see the lack of communication within the family members which could easily be done in most families.
This novel was a beautiful portrayal of family life and communication. I adored the Malegarde family, especially Paul because despite him not being present at times in his children’s life there is a lot more to his story then meets the eye. And, although he may not communicate his love to his children all of the time, it does not mean he loved them any less. Tatiana deals with real people and our faults at times with being human.
Tatiana transports us to Paris, her writing beautifully describes and sets the scene for you, so even if you have never been to Paris, you feel like it is a familiar city. She writes the Seine to be a main character who is fully involved throughout the book and reflects the good, the bad and the ugly the Seine can bring. She also makes the trees that Paul has cared for all of his life like a main character. I never thought I would read and be interested in a character being trees, but I was. I could feel and sense the breathtaking beauty overwhelming the pages and being an integral part of the book. You understood the trees were a vital part of Paul’s life, and it seemed that as Paul deteriorated, the trees took on a new life.
“Linden looks up the word Seine. The name comes from Sequana, used by the Gauls and Romans who navigated along the river and settled by its swampy shores to later form Lutece, the future city of Paris. An ancient Celtic goddess with healing powers, called Sequana, was worshipped at the river’s source near Dijon. She was represented in a small boat, graceful arms aloft.”
At the conclusion of this book, I felt overwhelmed with emotion and made me reflect on my own behavior and communication with my children and family and perhaps I need to reconsider how I behave towards them all.
Tatiana’s passion for her book was overwhelming and she really wanted to delve into the emotions of a family dealing with crisis and having to communicate with one another that perhaps they have not done for a long time.
“I wanted to write about a son who find the courage to talk to his ailing father at last, about himself, about himself, about who he really is. And I wanted to describe the city I love, the city I was born in, Paris, flooded by a catastrophic natural disaster that could very well happen today; the river Seine bursting its banks.”
I will be keeping my eye out for more books from Tatiana as I believe she is an author to watch.
About the Book
It is raining non-stop over Paris. The Malegarde’s family – split between France, London and the US – is reunited for the first time in years. When Paul, a famous yet withdrawn arborist, suffers a stroke in the middle of his 70th birthday celebrations, his son Linden is stuck in a city that is undergoing a stunning natural disaster. While the Seine bursts its banks and floods the streets, the family will have to fight to keep their unity as hidden fears and secrets also begin to rise.
You can purchase The Rain Watcher here
If you would like to find more about Tatiana, please click here
You can follow Tatiana on Twitter @Tatianaderosnay
The Rain Watcher is published through @WorldEdBooks