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The History of Rain by Stephens Gerard Malone

The History of Rain by Stephens Gerard Malone

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Literary historical fiction set in a war-torn Europe and glamourous Old Hollywood, following a lonely landscape gardener, from author of Big Town and I Still Have a Suitcase in Berlin

Our story begins in 1915. While convalescing in a French army hospital, Rain, a veteran of the Great War now raging across Europe, finds solace in aiding the buildings’ groundskeeper. An unlikely apprentice gardener, he buries himself in this work. The bulbs, the tubers, and the soil care not that his face is now deformed forever. “I say give the earth your rage, young man, and she’ll give you flowers”, the groundskeeper tells him. And so he does.

In the ensuing decadence of the postwar years, Rain finds himself lured into the intricate and lavish world of landscape gardening. In demand to a certain upper-class clientele, he travels the world to create magnificent gardens for celebrities and, eventually for the pictures during Hollywood’s Golden Age. But the nomadic nature of his work is also a way for him to chase his unrequitred love, Lily.

A sprawling story written in stunning, spare language, this anticipated new novel from the master wordsmith behind Big Town and I Still Have a Suitcase in Berlin is a lyrical, magical, and starkly realist meditation on the dissonant worlds that emerge from the conflict, and the lengths we’ll go to chase the illusion of love.

Paperback 232 pages

Stephens Gerard Malone is a Canadian-born novelist. Born in Trenton, Ontario, he was educated in Montréal, Quebec. He currently lives and writes on Canada's east coast city of Halifax, Nova Scotia where he's written for a variety of media, including television and periodicals. In 1994, he published his first novel Endless Bay under the pseudonym Laura Fairburn. His second novel, Miss Elva followed in 2005 and was short-listed for the Dartmouth Book Award and the Atlantic Book Award. Malone's third novel I Still Have A Suitcase In Berlin took eight years to write and was released in May 2008. The book was translated into French in 2011 under the title 5 Minutes de plus à Berlin and was published by Québec Amérique. Big Town, the author's fourth novel, is a fictionalized account of the eviction of the citizens of Africville in the late 1960s. It was published by Vagrant Press in September 2018, and reviewed in the Globe and Mail.

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