THE RAIN WATCHER

The Gulf Today - Panorama - - BOOKS - By Ta­tiana de Ros­nay

Paris is in chaos. Re­lent­less rain is push­ing the Seine out of its banks and into homes, mu­se­ums and train sta­tions. Pho­tog­ra­pher Linden Male­garde would know how to deal with this if he was on as­sign­ment.

But Linden isn’t in Paris for work. He’s here to mark his par­ents’ wed­ding an­niver­sary and get through the week­end with­out a scene. All that changes when his fa­ther suf­fers a stroke. Now Linden has to lead his frac­tious fam­ily through their cri­sis as the city around them reels. As every­thing teeters, Linden glimpses the chance of a rec­on­cil­i­a­tion he thought im­pos­si­ble. 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 savour the story of her beloved city on the brink.

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