Ruth Swain is sick in bed in County Clare Ireland. She does not have the energy to leave her attic bedroom, so she spends most of her time reading books (her favorites are Dickens, Yeats, Faulkner and Garcia Marquez) and writing her family’s history. As the river Shannon flows by her home and rain falls on her roof, Ruth recounts three generations of Swains and McCarrolls.
I read This is Happiness by Niall Williams almost a year ago, and I still smile whenever I think about it. I’m sure I will be remembering History of the Rain with a smile, too. If you want a plot-driven, fast paced read, you will be disappointed, but if you want a novel loaded with charm and unique “Irish” characters, read History of the Rain.