- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks (1 Aug. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1408841843
- ISBN-13: 978-1408841846
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (258 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 117,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Night Rainbow Paperback – 1 Aug 2013
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More About the Author
Claire's prize winning short fiction has been recognised by fancy places like BBC Radio 4, The New Scientist, The Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology and Writers Forum magazine.
Claire spent the last fourteen years living in Southern France, but has recently hung up her onions and moved back to the UK with her husband and their two daughters, happily ever after.
Claire blogs about her writing and assorted other things at www.claire-king.com
You can follow her on twitter @ckingwriter
Quirky, elegant and sweet: I loved it! (Joanne Harris)
At once moving and gripping, elegant and spare, The Night Rainbow is a daring novel about a child faced with the baffling world of adult grief. Claire King nails the voice of the child narrator from the first page; Pea is a heroine you won't forget (Maggie O'Farrell)
Emotional and beautifully written, you'll be on tenterhooks throughout (Stylist)
An original, beguiling debut about the consequences of an imaginatively lived life (Marie Claire)
The Night Rainbow is the story of Pea (Peony to her English mother, Pivoine to her French father), the world she creates to win back her mother's love, and the stranger she trusts to save them bothSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The narrator is the five-and-a-half year old Pea, aided and abetted (and at times provoked) by her four-year-old sister Margot, and yes, as some reviewers have said, the words used are not the ones you would expect from a five-year-old, but it doesn't matter, because the story is being told for adults, and adults need to have the innocence and the emotions of a little girl translated for them; otherwise they don't take it seriously. So Pea speaks with her heart, and the words appear in a form that adults can understand. And who else could have told this story? The mother is too bound up with her depression, her pregnancy and her worries for the future, whereas little Pea is the one who keeps the show on the road and ultimately finds the way forward not only for herself and her sister but for her mother, her grandmother, Claude and Josette, to say nothing of the new baby who, cleverly, is one of the main characters despite not having been born until nearly the final page.
I would be proud to have written this book, and feel much richer for having read it.
Pea has a four-year-old sister, Margot, who accompanies her on all her adventures. Though the reader realises there is something not quite right about Margot, when the truth is finally revealed, it is incredibly clever and touching at the same time.
There are very few adult novels in which children play an important role, let alone the lead role. Yet Pea wins the reader's heart right at the very beginning and doesn't let go all the way to the end. A lovely and original protagonist.
This book should definitely be recognised for the jewel that it is and deserves to be very widely read.
The other characters are well drawn, even the mother who never falls into the realm of cartoon villainy, even through the eyes of a child. She is a potentially a very interesting character, and we don't learn as much about her as we might because of the innocence of the narrator (one of my frequent gripes about first-person-child novels). In fact, we don't really get to know any of the adult characters very well - but that is part of the point and charm of the novel. Small children don't really know or understand even very close and beloved adults, and particularly lonely children like Peony and her sister often live in their own world of imagination. So it's not necessarily a fault of the book.Read more ›
Claire King's debut novel is a sweet but slim tale of grief seen through the eyes of a child. Pea is an utterly delightful character and I completely believed in the games she plays with Margot, albeit the dialogue at times is a little too precocious. I enjoyed the slow reveals of the various secrets although I did guess the twists. I also felt that Maman was a little underdeveloped and would have liked to have seen more interaction with the villagers, especially Josette and Mami Lafont given they are important to the two main storylines. It's a short book and there isn't a huge amount of plot, but the characterisation of Pea goes a long way to offset that and I would definitely check out King's next book.
Pea is front and centre to the story and King gives her a narrative voice that's for the most part convincing (albeit some of the vocabulary at times seems a little advanced). The best scenes in the book are those where she's playing and talking with Margot, whose observations on the world and the adults around them are pertinent and sometimes cutting.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderfully written book. Elegant writing style combined with a story line that captures your heart. I thoroughly enjoyed it.Published 7 days ago by Christine Marie
This easy-to-read book transports you to the beautiful South of France, and puts you up in the farmhouse home of a little family struggling to come to terms with a recent tragedy. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Sarah Beaumont
Throughly enjoyed reading the book and loved how the story developed but felt the ending was definitely lacking and should of found more out about margot etc.Published 3 months ago by jemma-jade gibson
This is a lovely, charming book - made a nice change after all the 'good' books that have been our Book Group choices recently.Published 3 months ago by BEMP
Five year old Pea, plays alone with her four year old sister Margo in the meadow near their farm in France. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Gloria
Have ordered 8 of these in total, to give to my friends. A thoroughly lovely book.Published 6 months ago by Aleximogen
Up there vying as my favourite for that year.