Before the Rain Falls by Camille Di Maio | Rating: ★★★★★
A copy of this novel was provided through NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.
After reading The Memory of Us late last year (at least, I think it was last year?) I was a little underwhelmed story wise but still highly intrigued by the prose of Camille Di Maio. I distinctly remember thinking, whilst reading and then writing my review, that her talents were something to look out for in the lit world. Before the Rain Falls is the novel which proves that theory of mine and then some. Whereas The Memory of Us was by no means a terrible book, this novel blows that one out of the water.
Let me catch you up to speed: Before the Rain Falls is a story told in split timelines. A task that can, typically, be hit or miss. In this case, it's a hit. I've never personally read something that was 100% like it and have to stress the fact that Camille Di Maio is a voice to look out for in recent releases. There's something deeply intriguing and moving about the way she portrays a story of an elderly woman with a mysterious past and a life lived behind bars for the murder of her sister shortly after her wedding day.
Before the Rain Falls is full of secrets, mystery and heartbreak. Loss, love, guilt, hope and every last complexity of human emotion. There's an undeniably quality of dark fun to it that makes it impossible to put down. My favourite parts of it were spent in the company of Della Lee and the tight-lipped mystery surrounding the reason why she spent much of her life in prison. Now, at the age of ninety she has been released and there aren't many people who are familiar with her case/story.
Do I have your attention yet? Because the entire premise was what made me jump to read this galley and I genuinely could not put the book down. It's definitely one of my favourites this year and one of the biggest can't-miss releases in fiction. I love the combination of timelines and how we transition to different eras easily and become engrossed with it all. Before the Rain Falls consumed me instantly and kept me dangling just on the edge of anticipation. I felt a connection to the story that I hadn't even anticipated and found myself tearing up on multiple scenes.
It's not your typical "small-city/town rocked by a murder" novel but it certainly has elements that will make it appear so. Ultimately, everything is mesmerizing and compels us to get to the bottom of things and truly understand every character and connection within its chapters. A deeply satisfying read that I will never forget and gladly revisit in the future. Before the Rain Falls is hands down one of my favourites of 2017 and Camille Di Maio's shining moment--let this be an introduction to the literature world's next obsession.