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Immediately bonding with cousin Beatrix, she also can't help but notice the "murderous" way Aunt Ivy speaks to her only daughter, not yelling, just saying terrible things in a low voice.

Introduction

This is a legacy that continues, unfortunately, with the unreliable Beatrix growing up to leave one man after another and giving birth to the helpless Thea. Rosamond and her first true love Rebecca end up caring for young Thea for two years, and the rupture when Beatrix returns to reclaim her is never healed. Thea gives birth to Imogen and there is only more tragedy to come. Perhaps a bit too much tragedy, finally. The last revelations are so grim that credibility starts to strain. There is also, for Coe, a surprising streak of sentimentality, unleavened by his usual coruscating wit.

There is steeliness here and it is welcome, particularly in the facts of life for a lesbian in the 50s and 60s, but the final words of Rosamond on tape are a little too woolly for the tough, shrewd woman who's gone before. More often, Rosamond's voice is a lovely thing, sharp and truthful and appealingly human.

The Rain Before It Falls by Jonathan Coe: Book Review – BooksPlease

She speaks of the "musical Prozac" of the postwar BBC Light Programme, and in the first picture of the infant Thea, she ignores the baby altogether in favour of the mess behind her: As a daughter, Beatrix learns she has "a duty to remain invisible". Pages to import images to Wikidata All stub articles. Views Read Edit View history. This page was last edited on 5 August , at By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

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You can help Wikipedia by expanding it. The novel opens with the death of Gill's aunt, Rosamund.

Imogen has been bequeathed a package of cassette tapes narrated by Rosamund. The search fruitless, Gill listens to these tapes as she herself is interested to hear their content. Coe then uses the brilliant method of Rosamund describing relevant photographs to acquaint Imogen, and the reader, with her grandmother, the emotionally erratic Beatrix and her mother, the estranged Thea. The photos take you to Shropshire, post war London, across to Toronto and France and then finally back to Shropshire again. Although somewhat melancholic, it is beautifully so with an enticing and dreamlike quality which has stayed with me long after I finished reading.

Never depressing, rather it serves to remind us of the heritage of character and past endowed to a child. It also portrays the strong loyalties and sometimes damaging qualities of friendship. Not only is this an incredibly beautiful visual story, it is indelibly emotive, haunting and detailed.

A novel I would have no hesitation in recommending. View all 15 comments. This is a hidden gem. Published in , and why haven't I heard from this author til now? Picked this up from a The Hague bookshop from the shelves the staff pick usually very good only two weeks ago.

Loved this one, beautiful story, beautiful writing Wh This is a hidden gem. When Rosamund, a reluctant bearer of family secrets, dies suddenly, a mystery is left for her niece Gill to unravel. Photograph albums, but more importantly, tapes with Rosamund telling the family story, point towards Imogen, a blind girl in the family whom no one has seen for a long time. The search for Imogen and the truth of her inheritance becomes a moving story of mothers and daughters, partners and other family members, and of how sadness, like a musical refrain, may haunt us forever.

Lovely story, I will look for this author to read more of his work.

The Rain Before It Falls by Jonathan Coe: Book Review

View all 11 comments. Feb 14, Diane Barnes rated it really liked it. I especially liked the vehicle used to tell this story: A maiden aunt dies and her niece is the only relative left to handle the estate details. She discovers cassette tapes and family pictures beside the chair in which she died. Aunt Rosamond had left a narrative explaining the pictures for a mystery girl named Imogen, which also explained a lot of unresolved family mysteries and questions. To say that it was complicated would be an understatement.

Jonathan Coe manages to tell the story of 60 ye I especially liked the vehicle used to tell this story: Jonathan Coe manages to tell the story of 60 years and 3 generations of women in only pages, but he does an excellent job. The writing is almost gothic at times and keeps the reader turning the pages. It was an engrossing read for me. E mesmo essa parte, muito provavelmente, foi distorcida. Gill sabia que era demasiado tarde. Pior do que isso - nunca existira. View all 6 comments. Quantas realidades encerra uma fotografia? View all 3 comments.


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The title of this novel, "The Rain Before It Falls," is a metaphor for those things that exist just beyond our experience, patterns that elude us, meanings we can't yet grasp. Coe uses as narrator the voice of a woman, Rosamond, describing twenty family photos into a tape recorder, before she takes pills and ends her life. Rosamond tells the story of four women, mothers and daughters, and the tragedy that silently passes from one to another.

This melancholy book powerfully traces the way ghosts The title of this novel, "The Rain Before It Falls," is a metaphor for those things that exist just beyond our experience, patterns that elude us, meanings we can't yet grasp. This melancholy book powerfully traces the way ghosts haunt families, sometimes producing almost unspeakable pain from seeds sown long before. I admire this book deeply. Coe writes beautifully, knows how to create a compelling narrative voice, and centers his narrative upon sensitivities and subtleties rather than upon overly dramatic events.

This is not a quick read, but it is a compelling one, and leaves me pondering the family as it moves through generations and how each memory tries to fashion, from distorted fragments, the story and meaning of the darkening past. Every once in a while, you come across a book which, although far from being a masterpiece, finds its way into you, where you know right away it will stay for a very long time if not forever.

The Rain Before it Falls

The ability of Jonathan Coe to weave haunting stories is by no means news to me, since this is the fifth novel I've read by the English author. However, while I found The House of Sleep , What A Carve Up and The Rotters' club near perfect and The Privacy Of Maxwell Every once in a while, you come across a book which, although far from being a masterpiece, finds its way into you, where you know right away it will stay for a very long time if not forever.

Without a big mystery, nor a complex plot or narrative but merely within a striking simplicity, The Rain Before It Falls is a perfect example of what we could call a good novel. Through a simple story, Coe writes an ode to nostalgia and a comment on how parents bequeath so much more than property and characteristics to their children. Despite it being rather short, the form in which The Rain Before It Falls is written can be a bit monotonous at times, due to the somewhat extensive descriptions and long chapters.

Furthermore, the final notion with the dog is a bit cheesy and uncalled for and confused me as to where Coe was intending to get at with it. However in the end, it didn't spoil the overall experience I had with the book, as the message rings loud and clear and is one that can't be easily ignored. Touching, without attempting to rape the reader's feelings as is the case with other novels of the kind, The Rain Before It Falls does what it's meant to do and it does it quietly, while proving at the same time what a talented writer Coe is.

And it's precisely this talent the reason I can't rate it with less than 4 stars. Anche i personaggi alla fine se ne vanno con il libro in maniera abbastanza sbrigativa. Bellissima comunque la scrittura Fechando os olhos, podemos sentir e tocar as palavras deste livro.

2 thoughts on “The Rain Before It Falls by Jonathan Coe: Book Review”

Cores, texturas, imagens, que se sentem, ouvem, cheiram e saboreiam com a alma. Primo libro di Coe che leggo. Molto bello, elegante, dolce e forte insieme. La trama la si legge tranquillamente in quarta di copertina, non sto qui a dirla.