‘A beautiful little book. Melissa Harrison offers us the simple pleasure of being outside, and the less obvious pleasure of being outside in the rain. In her company, informed both by a deep knowledge of the natural world and an abiding love for it, that pleasure becomes revelatory’ – Philip Marsden
Because it sends most of us scurrying indoors, few people witness what happens out in the landscape on a wet afternoon. And yet, every day, as natural and inevitable as breathing, weather fronts form, clouds gather and rain falls, changing how the English countryside looks, smells and sounds, and the way the living things in it behave. The rain alters the land itself, too: dissolving ancient rocks, deepening river channels and moving soil from place to place.
To write a book about rain I had to get used to going outside and getting wet. I visited four parts of the country in showery weather and, when others looked apprehensively at the sky and went indoors, I put on waterproofs and headed out. I blended these expeditions with reading, research, memory and a little conjecture in order to describe the course of four rain-showers as they pass over English soil.
Rain was longlisted for the Wainwright Prize 2016 and chosen as a finalist in the National Geographic Traveller reader awards 2017; an abridged chapter was broadcast as part of the BBC Proms on Radio 3, read by Melissa herself.
‘Acutely observed and lucidly written, this book restores rain to its proper place in the national affections’ – Jean Sprackland
‘Harrison is the perfect walking companion: informed, inquisitive and insightful with a way of conjuring the natural world on the page that, at times, verges on magical’ – Rob Cowen