The Rain Before It Falls: Book summary and reviews of The Rain Before It Falls by Jonathan Coe

The Rain Before It Falls

by Jonathan Coe

The Rain Before It Falls by Jonathan Coe X
The Rain Before It Falls by Jonathan Coe
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2008
    256 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Following The Rotters’ Club and its sequel, The Closed Circle, Jonathan Coe now offers his first stand-alone novel in a decade, a story of three generations of women whose destinies reach from the English countryside in World War II to London, Toronto, and southern France at the turn of the new century.

Evacuated to Shropshire during the Blitz, eight-year-old Rosamond forged a bond with her cousin Beatrix that augured the most treasured and devastating moments of her life. She recorded these memories sixty years later, just before her death, on cassettes she bequeathed to a woman she hadn't seen in decades. When her beloved niece, Gill, plays the tapes in hopes of locating this unwitting heir, she instead hears a family saga swathed in promise and betrayal: the story of how Beatrix, starved of her mother's affection, conceived a fraught bloodline that culminated in heart-stopping tragedy—its chief victim being her own granddaughter. And as Rosamond explores the ties that bound these generations together and shaped her experience all along, Gill grows increasingly haunted by how profoundly her own recollections—not to mention the love she feels for her grown daughters, listening alongside her—are linked to generations of women she never knew.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Through relatively narrow lives on a narrow isle, Coe articulates a fierce, emotional current whose sweep catches the reader and doesn't let go until the very end." - Publishers Weekly.

"The Closed Circle and The Rotters' Club were good, solid, well-built novels .... The Rain Before It Falls is a work of maturity. On the level of the sentence Coe writes musically, rhythmically, and with restraint." - The Telegraph, Ian Sansom (UK).

"The Rain Before It Falls is brief, potent and melancholy, like a short sad song. Perhaps something from the Smiths." - The Guardian (UK).

"This tonal unsteadiness wouldn’t matter so much if we heard anyone else speak, but Rosamund’s voice is pretty much all we have. Which means, as she might put it herself, that its authenticity and veracity matter terribly. Coe has escaped the constraints of comedy only to impose an unforgivingly restrictive structure on himself. He would make a wonderful straight man if he could just, paradoxically, allow himself to let go." - The Times (UK).

"The self-righteous heroine, simmering with genteel indignation at flightier women who break the rules, is reminiscent of an Anita Brookner character. But hats off to a male writer who can enter such traditionally female territory and acquit himself with aplomb." - The Telegraph (UK), David Robson.

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Author Information

Jonathan Coe Author Biography

Copyright Viking Publishing.

Jonathan Coe was born on 19 August 1961 in Lickey, a suburb of south-west Birmingham. His father worked in the motor industry as a research physicist; his mother was a music and PE teacher.

His works include: The Accidental Woman, What a Carve Up!,The House of Sleep, The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim.

Among Jonathan's awards are the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger for What a Carve Up! in 1995, the Prix Médicis Étranger for The House of Sleep in 1998, the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for The Rotters' Club in 2001, and the Samuel Johnson Prize for Like a Fiery Elephant in 2005. In 2004 he was made Chevalier l'Ordre des Arts and des Lettres.

Jonathan lives in London with his wife and two daughters.

... Full Biography
Link to Jonathan Coe's Website

Other books by Jonathan Coe at BookBrowse
  • The Rotter's Club jacket
  • The Closed Circle jacket

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