By Anat Rosenberg
March 25, 2008 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Rain Before It Falls

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When her aunt Rosamond passes away, Gill is left not only with a part of her estate, but also with a mission: to bequeath a set of cassettes to Imogen, a distant relative who has long been out of contact. Unable to locate her, Gill listens to the tapes, which Rosamond recorded in the hours leading up to her death, and in which she describes 20 photographs from her lifetime. What unfolds in Jonathan Coe?s sometimes too measured novel, The Rain Before It Falls, is a complex oral family history — a tale of mothers and daughters steeped in loneliness, loss, and regret. B

The Rain Before It Falls

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