BN.com Gift Guide

History of the Rain [NOOK Book]

Overview

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...
See more details below
History of the Rain

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price
(Save 38%)$17.99 List Price

Overview

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.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
★ 04/01/2014
In the tiny Irish village of Faha, college student Ruthie Swain lies in bed, immobilized by a mysterious illness and surrounded by her deceased father's books. She vows to read each one as she writes her family's story. Recollections of the people she has lost and their memories of people she's never known mingle with the adventures and ideas she retains from her reading. Ruthie reads and composes to remember and to tell the tales, particularly of her father, Virgil, and her nearly magical twin brother, Aengus. Their absence seems almost to pull Ruthie out of existence. But by summoning their tragic yet beautiful lives from memory, Ruthie reenters the realm of the living. VERDICT Destined to be a classic, Williams's seventh novel (after Boy and Man) isn't just the elegy Ruthie offers to the departed but also a love letter to reading and its life-giving powers. The author's voice and narrative remain utterly unique even as she invites comparisons to Jim Hawkins, Ishmael, and hosts of legendary literary narrators.—John G. Matthews, Washington State Univ. Libs., Pullman
From the Publisher
"Destined to be a classic, [History of the Rain] isn't just the elegy Ruthie offers to the departed but also a love letter to reading and its life-giving powers. [Ruthie's] voice and narrative remain utterly unique even as she invites comparisons to Jim Hawkins, Ishmael, and hosts of legendary nliterary narrators." - Library Journal, starred review

"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 the pitch-perfect voice of a saucily defiant young woman who has witnessed too much tragedy but who clings devotedly to those she’s lost." - Booklist, starred review

"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 impossible 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

"[An] Irish family saga stuffed with eccentricity, literature, anecdotes, mythology, humor and heartbreak." - Kirkus

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781620406489
  • Publisher: BLOOMSBURY PUBLISHING
  • Publication date: 5/6/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 33,701
  • File size: 583 KB

Meet the Author

Niall Williams was born in Dublin in 1958. He is the author of eight novels including John and Four Letters of Love for which he has recently completed the screenplay for Element Pictures. He lives in Kiltumper in County Clare, with his wife, Christine.

niallwilliams.com
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 on April 1st to the cottage in west Clare that Chris's grandfather had left eighty years before to find his life in America. His first four books were co-written with Chris and tell of their life together in Kiltumper in west Clare. In 1991 Niall's first play 'The Murphy Initiative' was staged at The Abbey Theatre in Dublin. His second play, 'A Little Like Paradise' was produced on the Peacock stage of The Abbey Theatre in 1995. His third play, 'The Way You Look Tonight,' was produced by Galway's Druid Theatre Company in 1999.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 31, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Before it was over I laughed and I cried.  This is a thing of be

    Before it was over I laughed and I cried.  This is a thing of beauty.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2014

    Might be My Favorite Book Ever.

    In my opinion this book places Niall Williams amoung such writers as Faulkner, Joyce and Hemmingway. This is a novel to be read more than once and studied as well as savored. A masterful piece of writing. Beautiful, brilliant, and a great contribution to literature. If you love great writing you are bound to love this book. A new treat for scholars and storytellers alike.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 25, 2014

    This is truly one of the most fabulous books I have ever read. I

    This is truly one of the most fabulous books I have ever read. It is incredibly beautifully written. And, it touched me in ways a book doesn't always do. It is positively a book lover's book! Thank you, Mr. Williams for taking me on this journey. It really was a journey to a place I've dreamed about for decades. (Ireland) Cheers!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 8, 2014

    The voice draws you along. The blending of metaphor, humor, lite

    The voice draws you along. The blending of metaphor, humor, literary history, Irish history, is all done lightly . The book flows like a River, indeed . Loved it so much I am buying the hard cover too, so I can mark the best parts -- the writing and message are so powerful.  The winner of the Booker Prize must have been some kind of story to have bested The History of Rain. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)