The Rain Before it Falls

This, and The House of Sleep are my favourite Jonathan Coe books. Funnily enough I’d been scanning old family photos the same day I started this, and the story’s premise (a woman describing 3 intertwined life stories through old photos) perfectly suited my mood…

I liked the idea of obscured, or unknowable stories. It felt especially relevant as I was scanning some photos of relatives long since dead;

‘because although it [the photo] seems to record an occasion with perfect fidelity, it actually gives no indication of what was going through the minds of the people who were there. There is, if you like, the ‘official’ interpretation of the picture, and behind it, there is the unofficial, authentic version. On the one hand it is a photograph of Rebecca’s graduation ceremony; on the other, it is a picture of Rebecca and me in the few hours following our first serious quarrel’ — p130

In itself quite obvious, but worth mulling on…

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