It is summer in the south of France, and Pea and her little sister Margot spend their days running free, inventing games in the meadow behind their house. But Pea has worries beyond her five and a half years. Her father has died in an accident, and her mother has just lost a baby. Maman is English, already isolated in this small, foreign village, and in her compounded grief, she has retreated even further. Pea and Margot stay out of her way and try to make things better, but they can't make Maman happy again.
When Pea befriends Claude, a man who seems to love the meadow as she does, she wonders if he could be a new papa. But why do the other villagers view Claude with suspicion, and what secrets does his large empty house hold?
Beautifully written, haunting, and full of surprises, The Night Rainbow is a novel about innocence and experience, grief and compassion, and the blessings and perils of imagination.