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review 2017-11-13 18:18
"The Scent Of Rain And Lightning" by Nancy Pickard
The Scent of Rain and Lightning: A Novel - Nancy Pickard

"The Scent of Rain and Lightning," tells the story of the misfortune that strikes the Lindner family, the richest ranchers in a failing Kansas town and the impact it has on those who survived it. It is filled with secrets and anger and grief but still manages to find a little room for love and forgiveness.


It has a powerful, sometimes almost overwhelming atmosphere that raises it above a murder mystery into an experience of the damage done by violence, lust and selfishness and the possibility of hope that can be realised only by setting hate aside.


The story is woven between the 1980's when a murder is about to take place and twenty-three years later when the man convicted of the murder is about to be released and returned home.


The first third of the book is heavy with foreboding and loss. You can see the storm coming in the first timeline and smell the pain-etched trail it will leave behind.

The Kansas landscape in which the book is set, with its vast skies and huge storms, is almost a character in the book. It drives the plot, colours the emotions and shapes the characters.


The language of the book is rich without being cloyingly lyrical. It's an excellent book to read aloud, savouring the descriptions that evoke the place and the dialogue that makes each character distinct.


I've seen comments that the ending is anticlimatic, with everything tied up just a little too neatly but I thought the ending offered quiet, credible, continuity and the unrolling of the plot was satisfying if a little less credible.


The book, a rare standalone novel from Nancy Pickard, was released in 2010. The video below is an interview with Nancy Pickard talking about how and why she wrote the book.


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbNvYyF5480&w=560&h=315]


In 2017, the book was turned into a film (shot, for reasons that escape me, in Oklahoma)


scent of rain and lightning movie poster

You can see the trailer below (which contains a little more information that I'd care to have before reading the book) but which looks like an atmospheric movie.


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHi9Ecs0ucs&w=560&h=315]


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text 2016-11-26 07:12
Atmospheric read, grounded in reality but filled with an almost unbearable foreboding - I've read 30%.
The Scent of Rain and Lightning: A Novel - Nancy Pickard

Set in rural Kansas today and in the 1980s, "The Scent Of Rain And Lightning" tells the story of the murder of most the members of a locally prominent ranching family and the impact that it had on the survivors.


This book is taking a while because I'm reading it aloud to my wife.


It's an excellent book to read aloud: great dialogue, strong sense of place and, although it's filled with foreboding because you know something very bad is going to happen, the dialogue can still make us laugh.

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text 2015-08-09 05:39
A couple of recent reads ...
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
The Scent of Rain and Lightning: A Novel - Nancy Pickard

I finished these two books in the past few days. Not sure if I’ll write full reviews on one, the other, both, or neither, but I did want to post real quick with a few brief thoughts on each book.


Two very different reads, but both great.


The Book Thief is a heart-breaking, gut-wrenching, but fan-freaking-tastic read. A fictional representation of Hitler’s reign and the Nazi impact. A unique narrator and beautiful writing really bring the events to life. 


Zusak transports readers right into the thick of Nazi Germany, but he does so under the cover of death who is the narrator. And if you think that sounds wonky, well, it is, but it is absolutely perfect and poetic in this book!


* ebook borrowed from the Johnson County, KS Public Library.


As for The Scent of Rain and Lightning, I’ve wanted to read Pickard for a while now. She’s a local author, the setting is a small town in KS (I’m a small town KS girl), and I’ve heard great reviews.


I wasn’t disappointed. Pickard grabbed me from the beginning in this one and she really never let go. The suspense and the pace really keep readers on their toes. I had a couple of guesses throughout the read, but turns out I was way wrong!!


* Paperback purchased from the Half-Price Book Store.


I will definitely be grabbing more books by both of these authors soon!

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review 2015-04-01 00:17
The Scent of Rain and Lightning
The Scent of Rain and Lightning: A Novel - Nancy Pickard

Twenty-six-year-old Jody Linder was three when her father was murdered and her mother was taken from their home and never found. Billy Crosby, the man who has been behind bars for twenty-three years for the murder, is released from jail thanks to his son, Collin, who conveniently grows up to become a lawyer.


Read this boring book to find out what really happened to Jody Linder's parents that stormy night. Only the last few chapters of the book were interesting, everything before that was dull and predictable. The characters were flat.

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text 2013-10-23 09:08
Doh, did it again!
Code Name Verity - Elizabeth Wein
Still Missing - Chevy Stevens
The Scent of Rain and Lightning - Nancy Pickard

Ok so this morning I purchased three more books. So if ANY of you see me moaning about my To Be Read list then remind me that its ALL SELF INFLICTED!


If anyone has read one of these 3 and would like to tell me that its the one I should prioritise that would be helpful....


Happy Wednesday BookLikes!

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