The November Fiction Book Group will be meeting via Zoom
Monday, November 14th • 6:30 PM ET / 11:30 PM IST via Zoom
Session open to all, no registration required.
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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, in the margin between this world and the next, Plain Ruth Swain is in search of her father. To find him, enfolded in the mystery of ancestors, 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 grandfather Abraham, to her father, Virgil – via pole-vaulting, leaping salmon, poetry and the three thousand, nine hundred and fifty eight books piled high beneath the two skylights in her room, beneath the rain.
The stories – of her golden twin brother Aeney, their closeness even as he slips away; of their dogged pursuit of the Swains' Impossible Standard and forever falling just short; of the wild, rain-sodden history of fourteen acres of the worst farming land in Ireland – pour forth in Ruthie's still, small, strong, hopeful voice. A celebration of books, love and the healing power of the imagination, this is an exquisite, funny, moving novel in which every sentence sings.
“A glorious celebration of [Ireland's] storytelling tradition . . . Sweep[s] the reader joyfully along.”
― The Daily Telegraph
“History of the Rain is charming, wise and beautiful. It is a love letter to Ireland in all its contradictions, to literature and poetry and family. It acknowledges that faith itself is a paradox, both possible and necessary. And faith carries this novel--faith that stories can save us, that love endures, that acceptance is within reach, and finally, that it is possible to get to the other side of grief.”
― Shelf Awareness
“A celebration of books, love and the healing power of the imagination.”
― Irish Independent
“You can smell the peat burning and feel the ever-present mist in acclaimed Irish novelist Williams' luscious paean to all who lose themselves in books. Williams captures the awe and all of Ireland--its myths and mysteries, miseries and magic--through [Ruth's] pitch-perfect voice.”
“Destined to be a classic, Williams's seventh novel isn't just the elegy Ruthie offers to the departed but also a love letter to reading and its life-giving powers. [Her] voice invites comparisons to Jim Hawkins, Ishmael, and hosts of legendary literary narrators.”
― Library Journal
About the Author
Niall Williams was born in Dublin in 1958. He studied English and French literature at University College Dublin before graduating with a Master's degree in Modern American Literature. He moved to New York in 1980 where he married Christine Breen, whom he had met while she was a Master's student also at UCD, and took his first job opening boxes of books in Fox and Sutherland's bookshop in Mount Kisco. He later worked as a copywriter for Avon Books in New York City before leaving America with Chris in 1985 to attempt to make a life as a writer. They moved to a cottage in west Clare that Chris's grandfather had left eighty years before to find his life in America. His first 4 books were co-written with Chris and tell of their life together in Kiltumper in west Clare.
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