It is summer in the south of France, and Pea and her little sister Margot spend their days running free and inventing games in the meadow behind their house. But Pea is burdened with 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, isolated in this small, foreign village, and in her sadness has retreated even further. Pea tries her best to help, makes Margot behave, brings home yellow flowers, but she can’t make Maman happy again. When Pea meets Claude, a man with a dog who seems to love the meadow as she does, she believes that she and Margot have found a friend, and maybe even a new Papa. But why do the villagers view Claude with suspicion and what secret is he keeping in his strange, empty house? 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 and truth.
I am in love with the story, from beginning to end it has captured my heart and warmed me from the inside out.
I stumbled upon this novel by chance, in my opinion I believe it was fate.
There are certain books that live on in me forever, those I recommend relentlessly, not only because they are good but because they are different, they are brave and unique and told in such a way you are unable to unbind yourself from the seams, the words become part of you, the morals etched into your being. Only certain people appreciate and understand this belonging, it is those people I will share this book with.
This book is everything and more.
Pea is the main character and narrator of this story, she is a 5 year old English girl living in France without a grasp on the language and just her maman and Margot to keep her company. Sadly maman isn’t very well, after dealing with the death of papa and being heavily pregnant and quite isolated in a small french village she takes to her bed often enough for Pea to roam free and create a new existence for herself amongst the meadows and greenery of her close surroundings. Pea has Margot and with only a year between them they are thick as thieves living harmoniously trying more than anything to make maman happy.
The Night Rainbow discusses very adult issues told from the point of view of a 5 year old little girl
We learn how she handles the grief her mum endures and how she spends her time looking for the positives and trying to make her maman happy more than anything in the world. Maman is a mother so lost in her own grief she is forgetting the responsibilities she has and sadly the family is drifting apart.
Claude is a very special character and the backbone of the novel
His sad story interweaves with how Pea is feeling yet it is something not to be discussed, he looks out for her and cares for her well being, although under suspicion by the locals for having darker, deeper intentions. Claude is a broken man, Pea asks many questions and it isn’t until the latter part of the novel we really begin to understand. I realised a lot of things about the story slowly, they crept up unawares leaving you whispering a soft ‘oh’ as the plot unfolded and the story took shape.
I adore this book, I highly recommend it and praise Claire King for her talented prose. I am excited to hear a new book is coming in July 2016, which I will certainly be reading too.