We are our stories. We tell them to stay alive or keep alive those who only live now in the telling. In Faha, County Clare, everyone is a long story....
Bedbound in her attic room beneath the falling rain, Plain Ruth Swain is in search of her father. To find him Ruthie must first trace the jutting jaw lines, narrow faces, and gleamy skin of the Swains from the restless Reverend Swain, her great-grandfather, to her father, Virgil - via pole-vaulting, leaping salmon, poetry and the 3,958 books piled high beneath the two skylights in her room.
"Extremely moving, poignantly capturing Ruth's doomed childhood relationship with her twin brother. By the final chapter I was weeping." (
"A rambling, soft-hearted Irish family saga stuffed with eccentricity, literature, anecdotes, mythology, humour and heartbreak." ( Kirkus)
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History of the Rain
I enjoyed this book very much. It went at a good pace, was well read, and the story was engaging.
The laconic humour which balanced what could have been written as a very sad humour, and yet there was love and light in it all the way through.
No, haven't heard any other.
Huge achievement, perfect prose for audio
The sheer scale of the achievement in conjuring the environment and characters from the books in the library surrounding Ruth.
Ruth, who was a complex and well-developed character, sensitive and indulgent, but hard as nails in many respects.
She seems to have a core understanding of Ruth's attitudes, and brings out the strength of her character very well. A lot of the lyrical prose is delivered in a matter-of-fact way, rather than with too much deference, which I think really helps the story along.
No; it was a joy to bask in the qualities of the prose over an extended period.
A really rewarding listen, but it's interesting that there isn't a great deal of drive to the present-day plot, which makes the whole experience somewhat diffuse and meandering. That, however, might be seen as a positive. Occasionally the narrator's differentiation between characters was a little absent, and I do wonder whether the potentially terminally ill Ruth was a bit energetic, but this was an epic task to take on, and may have dragged horribly if there'd been a more weary approach.