History of the Rain

  • by Niall Williams
  • Narrated by Jennifer McGrath
  • 11 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

We are our stories. We tell them to stay alive or keep alive those who only live now in the telling. In Faha, County Clare, everyone is a long story....
Bedbound in her attic room beneath the falling rain, Plain Ruth Swain is in search of her father. To find him Ruthie must first trace the jutting jaw lines, narrow faces, and gleamy skin of the Swains from the restless Reverend Swain, her great-grandfather, to her father, Virgil - via pole-vaulting, leaping salmon, poetry and the 3,958 books piled high beneath the two skylights in her room.


What the Critics Say

"Extremely moving, poignantly capturing Ruth's doomed childhood relationship with her twin brother. By the final chapter I was weeping." (Sunday Times)
"A rambling, soft-hearted Irish family saga stuffed with eccentricity, literature, anecdotes, mythology, humour and heartbreak." (Kirkus)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The language is astoundingly beautiful.

I can not remember having read/ listened to a more beautifully written book. The use of language is astounding. There is not one false note. It is poetry, at its very best. It is for people who love words. The characters are brilliantly fleshed out through both action and description. If you are looking for a fast read or a plot driven story this book is not for you. If you want to savor and bask in lyrical storytelling I heartily recommend this book. It is joyful and sad. It is about story itself. It is brilliant. The narration is excellent.
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- Kindle Customer

The lure of local flavour

If you could sum up History of the Rain in three words, what would they be?

Irish prose poetry

What did you like best about this story?

The deep, unspoken feelings running through family and community

Which character – as performed by Jennifer McGrath – was your favorite?


If you could rename History of the Rain, what would you call it?

River Swain

Any additional comments?

The narrator's accent contributes in no small measure to the 'placement' of the story; and the calm tone used in the rendering underlined the intimacy felt throughout the narrative.

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- Vasco Almeida

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-04-2014
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks