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The Rain Before It Falls by Jonathan Coe

The Rain Before It Falls by Jonathan Coe (2007)
The story is told by Rosamund, who believes she will soon pass away. She is recording her family history on tape for the mysterious Imogene. We learn Imogene is blind and adopted out of her family at the age of three and that is why Rosamund feels the need to recount her family history for the girl.

Rosamund was evacuated from London to her aunt and uncle’s farm in Shropshire during the war. It was there she met her older cousin Beatrix. As the story unfolds, it becomes apparent Aunt Ivy abuses Beatrix, mentally, emotionally and physically. The cycle begins and we learn that it has extended over three generations. Ivy toward Beatrix, then Beatrix toward her daughter Thea and finally Thea toward her daughter Imogene.

Rosamund’s narration touches on family love and tragedy. Chance happenings that have an influence on people’s lives and a family saga that is complex makes for a brilliant read.

For local reviews, check out the Daily Herald or TimeOut Chicago. Find an excerpt, reader's guide, and more about the book and the author at the publisher's website.
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