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The Night Rainbow by [King, Claire]
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The Night Rainbow Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 264 customer reviews

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Length: 273 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Review

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)

Book Description

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 both

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1299 KB
  • Print Length: 273 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; 1 edition (14 Feb. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009IROW2I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 264 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #30,835 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I may be an eighty year old man, but I cried like a baby as I read this beautiful book, because it touched every nerve in my body. I think I write with sensitivity about heart-breaking issues myself, but I know I couldn't have written this.
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.
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Format: Paperback
This story, told through the eyes of five-year-old Pea, is told with tenderness and fragility. She stays positive, in the way that children do, even though her whole world is crumbling to pieces around her. She doesn't realise the seriousness of her situation. Her father has recently died and her heavily pregnant mother spirals into depression and has stopped taking care of her daughter. Pea eats what she finds and runs around the meadows of Southern France like a wild child until and elderly neighbour, Claude, and his dog, Merlin, take pity on her and provide her with some care of sorts.
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.
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Format: Paperback
Beautifully written and moving, this novel is easy to read and engaging from the earliest chapters. It is narrated in the first person by five year old Peony, who lives in rural France with her depressed, pregnant mother and her younger sister. Pea is a likeable character and the reader quickly warms to her. I'm not always a fan of first person narrative by children, as it is very rarely done well. I think King does a fine job of it here though - she manages to get the right balance of naivety and insight, and makes the voice realistic without being cloying. Peony comes across as neither too wise nor too stupid, both easy traps to fall into with a child narrator. In fact reading this reminded of what it was like to be and think like a child, which is testament to how successfully the technique works here.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was looking for something new to read when I stumbled upon this book. It did more than impress me. The author captures the voice of the main character perfectly. I've seen a few complaints that the voice sounds older than the actual age of the narrator, but I don't think that's true at all. I can understand that you maybe wouldn't expect a five year old to express themselves so well, but that doesn't mean the thoughts aren't inside their heads waiting to burst out. In my experience children have very complex thoughts and experiences, and just because you couldn't expect a child to speak to you in this way doesn't mean that a writer shouldn't be able to voice that kind of experience.

This book was a truly refreshing read, touching on some tough topics but doing so in a way that doesn't make the book feel like a public service announcement or overly serious. It really took me to another place while I read it.
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