Tag Archives: rain

The Rain by Virginia Bergin

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IMG_4096The Rain by Virginia Bergin, paperback novel, 386 pages, published by Macmillan Chidlren’s Books.

Ruby Morris is just a teenager living in a small town in rural England when the end of the world as she knows it arrives in the form of killer rain. One minute she’s passionately kissing the boy of her dreams, the next, people are dying. The merest touch of the poisonous water is enough to kill, wiping out millions within a few days. Ruby sets out across the country to find her Dad, putting her survival skills to the test.

The basis of The Rain is an apocalyptic event, causing a devastating loss of human life. The cause behind the development of killer rain is established clearly and early on in the story, which seems to be rare among books of this genre that I have read. A contaminated water source is a great start for an apocalypse, though I was surprised by the violent and bloody way in which people affected by the water died. Complete loss of a safe water supply is truly a terrifying thought. The story dealt with the short-term requirements of finding safe water to drink and ahelter, but didn’t explore the complications that would arise due to such finite resources. Perhaps the sequel, The Storm, will delve deeper into the more long-term consequences of contaminated rain.

The Rain is written in the first person as Ruby. I tried hard to like Ruby, she’s just lost her family and her friends, and she’s trying to survive in this new and dangerous world, and I could feel sorry for her, but I couldn’t really like her. Before the rain came, she was obviously one of the popular kids, stuck-up, selfish, shallow and egotistical. Not exactly the perfect picture of someone who will rebuild the world post-apocalyspe, but I thought she would start learning to be someone of more consequence on her journey. I didn’t like the way that she treated Darius, as if he was completely beneath her. She refers to him as a nerd, but he is smart and practical, exactly the sort of person you should want on your side if the world ever comes to an end. I was disappointed that Ruby still considered Darius to be socially inferior despite the whole of humanity crumbling about them. And instead of collecting practical supplies, she loots make-up and clothes her mum and stepdad would never have let her wear. Hey, I’ve never been part of an apocalypse, so who knows what crazy things I would do, but I just can’t imagine mascara and sequins will be high on my list of things to do.

I generally quite like apocalyptic and dystopian novels, and this novel was okay, but I didn’t like it as much as I expected. My difficulty in liking Ruby really clouded my enjoyment of the story. The abrupt ending of the story surprised me too, until I realised that there was to be a sequel. The Rain left me with lots of questions. I’m wondering how society will develop without a clean source of water, not only to drink, but to produce food as well. Will the rain become safe again, will there be tests developed to identify safe water? And what happens to Ruby, Darius and Princess? I’m interested enough to read the second book, and it leaves me with hope that Ruby will develop into a more likeable heroine.

Due to the complicated themes contained within this novel, The Rain is most suitable for high school students and up.

 

Rainy Day Pictures

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IMG_9777While I was walking down one of the hallways at L’s school I spotted some wonderful rainy day art on the wall done by one of the classes. I liked them so much we tried them at home. At school they had used oil pastels and edicol dye, but we substituted watercolour paints, as we didn’t have the dye.

L drawing her picture.

L drawing her picture.

First we drew a picture using the oil pastels. Most of the picture was drawn in white, including the clouds and raindrops. L put big bolts of lightning on her first one too. I also drew a picture and added a rainbow to it as an example for A of what we could do. A copied this picture, adding rainbows to her art.

Adding watercolours paint.

Adding watercolours paint.

Once we finished drawing with the oil pastels, we used watercolour paint to cover the paper. The oil pastels resist the paint, so that only the blank paper is coloured, and the picture emerges clearly. I used black and blue for my clouds, light blue for the sky and light green for the hills. L made her first picture very blue with deep black clouds at the top. She also added some black in the background, giving her picture a cityscape look. She told me that the swirls at the bottom are from the drops of rain, but I think they look like scorch marks from her lightning. A had one picture copied from mine with black clouds, blue sky and green hills, but her other one was almost all blue. For this one she added some purple across the bottom, mixing it with the blue, and told me it was a river with lots of fish.

A's second picture.

A’s second picture.

My rainy day painting.

My rainy day painting.

L's thunder storm.

L’s thunder storm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A has a tendency to use a lot of paint in her art, and this left her paper quite wet and a bit soggy in places. Mine and L’s paintings dried quickly, but we had to wait a while for A’s. We have our rainy day pictures displayed on our living room wall.