Brenna's Reviews > The Scent of Rain and Lightning

The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard
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Apr 22, 2011

Read in January, 2011

book summary: One beautiful summer afternoon, from her bedroom window on the second floor, Jody Linder is unnerved to see three uncles parking their pickups in front of her parents house-or what she calls her parent's house, even though Hugh-Jay and Laurie Linder have been gone almost all of Jody's life. "What is this fearsome thing I see?" the young high school English teacher whispers, mimicking Shakespeare. Polished boots, pressed jeans, fresh white shirts, Stetsons-her uncle's suspiciously clean visiting clothes and disturbing sign.

The three bring shocking news: the man convicted of murdering Jody's father is being released from prison and returning to the small town of Rose, Kansas. It has been twenty-three years since that stormy night when her father was shot and killed and her mother disappeared, presumed dead. Neither the protective embrace of Jody's uncles nor the safe haven of her grandparents' ranch could erase the pain caused by Billy Crosby on that catastrophic night. Now Billy Crosby's sentence has been commuted, thanks in large part to the efforts of his son, Collin, a lawyer who has spent most of his life trying to prove his father's innocence. As Jody lives only a few doors down from the Crosbys, she knows that sooner or later she'll come face-to-face with the man she believes destroyed her family.

What she doesn't expect are the heated exchanges with Collin. Having grown up practically side by side in this very small town, Jody and Collin have had a long history of carefully avoiding each other's eyes, now Jody discovers that underneath their antagonism is a shared sense of loss that no one else could possibly understand. As she revisits old wounds, startling revelations compel her to uncover the dangerous truth about her family's tragic past.



My book review: Nancy Pickard magnifies the little town Rose, Kansas so we can see the full ripple effect of what happened to the Linders and Crosbys. I found myself going through different scenarios thinking I knew what would happen, but I could never see what was coming next. The closer Collin and Jody became, the more everything was spiraling out of control. I felt this novel was well written. It was very hard for me to put it down. Anxiety flowed through me-wanting to know the truth as badly as Jody Linder.
-Brenna Shippy
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