18 March, 2015
History of the Rain by Niall Williams [Biddy, Highland Park Library]
While tracing the history of her family and their idiosyncrasies, Ruth continually relates experiences to one of the books in her room. When describing her Grandfather Swain in action in World War I: "He's got all that mind... Mind has Mountains, that's in Gerard Manley Hopkins (Book 1,555, Poems and Prose, Penguin, London)".
Ruth's life is one filled with hardship in the grey, poverty-stricken part of Ireland she inhabits. However, her tone is not melancholic but filled with hope and humour.
She relates her family's history - their endless challenge in striving to achieve the Swains' Impossible Standard that always succeeds in just eluding them, the loss of her beloved twin brother Aeney, and her father's quest to write the perfect poem.
This is a book worth reading-and re-reading!
Title: History of the Rain
Author: Niall Williams
Publisher: London, Bloomsbury