Nancy's Reviews > The Scent of Rain and Lightning

The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard
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's review
May 05, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: midwest-us, first-reads
Read from March 17 to 24, 2010 — I own a copy

Thank you Goodreads! --Another First Reads win!

I particularly wanted to like this book because it was a freebie from first reads. However, I found the plot trivial and predictable, the characters unbelievable and the ending wrapped up just a little too neatly without enough substance to warrant it. I’d be more specific, but I don’t want to ruin the plot line for those who haven’t read the book. But, just let me say this—Pickard’s story didn’t hold me in suspense like a good mystery should. She establishes early on why the suspected killer couldn’t have committed the crime, and yet her characters (or at least the main ones) seem oblivious. It was relatively easy to figure out who the real killer was by the process of elimination. No surprises here.

What I did like was her using the real fossil rich chalk lands of western Kansas known as Monument Rocks as a primary feature in her story, renaming them Testament Rocks. She gets kudos for that. I also liked the devotion the patriarch of her wealthy Kansas family, Hugh Linder, Senior, and his wife Annabelle had for each other and their efforts to extend a helping hand to young people from more unfortunate circumstances. However, the fact that they raised an alienated daughter and three sons, none of whom found a lasting or satisfactory relationship, didn’t ring true. You’d think at least one of the kids would emulate the love their parents had for each other.

The back of the book lists various accolades and awards Nancy Pickard has received for her writing, so I’m going to assume this book is the exception.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Jason (new)

Jason you're a lucky one!
i enter to get these freebies and i never get selected.
i think it may be a conspiracy.

Nancy Hi Jason
You’re absolutely right—I’ve been incredibly lucky when it comes to winning First Reads books and believe me I’ve given it some thought. To be honest, at first I felt guilty, but my friend Richard’s advice was just to enjoy it. Anyway, after narrowing out all the obvious reasons like four-leaf clovers (haven’t found one in years); not letting a black cat cross my path (our cat Jazz is coal black); hanging a horse shoe over my door (I admit, I do have one hanging in the pine tree across from our deck); carry a rabbit’s foot in my pocket? (Never—think about the poor rabbit) . . . . Anyway, after giving my lucky streak considerable consideration I think I’ve discovered the reason. I’m married to a leprechaun and he wields a lot of influence. Now if it just extended to winning lottery tickets!

By the way, thanks for your comments on “Cloud Atlas.” I added it to my to-read list—looks like a great book.

message 3: by Elena (new)

Elena I know, Nancy, you win everything possible! How do you do that??????!!

message 4: by C.J. (new)

C.J. Prince too bad
i like the title
hunt and peck- 1 hand writing
fracture head of humerus

Jinny Couldn't agree more with everything this reviewer said about the book. Not nearly as meaty and nuanced as I'd hoped. Liked the portions about Kansas's unique features, and there was some good writing in spots, especially the first three pages and near the end, re: Laurie. But otherwise, parts of it seemed almost amateurish (e.g., "her heart thumped in her chest"). Will try some of her other books and hope for better.

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