History of the Rain: Niall Williams

History of rain

Although initially a  bit difficult to get into this was my favourite of all the Man Booker longlist- gentle, lyrical and wonderfully funny but also deeply moving.

Ruth Swain is bedbound in an attic room and is learning about her father, but in order to understand him she has first to delve into her family history and discover her grandfather and great-grandfather amongst the  three thousand, nine hundred and fifty eight books piled high beneath the two rained-on skylights in her room. Along the way we are introduced to her greatly loved brother Aeney and The Impossible Standard which both she and he just fail to attain but for which the Swain family constantly strive.

Above all this is a book about other books, the power of imagination and the joy of literature- what’s not to love?