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In the Days of Rain: A Daughter, a Father, a Cult

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  2,021 ratings  ·  263 reviews
A father-daughter story that tells of the the author's experience growing up in the Exclusive Brethren, a fundamentalist, separatist Christian cult, from the author of the national bestseller Ghostwalk.

Rebecca Stott was born a fourth-generation Brethren and she grew up in England, in the Brighton branch of the Exclusive Brethren cult in the early 1960s. Her family dated ba
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 4th 2017 by Random House
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Nicola Santamaria This book is the story of her father's life (hence biography). He died before he could get anywhere near finishing it. He was going to call it 'The Ir…moreThis book is the story of her father's life (hence biography). He died before he could get anywhere near finishing it. He was going to call it 'The Iron Room' after the corrugated iron meeting room that the brethren used. The author chose to change the title when she completed the book.(less)

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Petra's kitten does not sheath her claws yet :-(
DNF. This should have been a fabulously interesting book, but was a deadly dull history of the Exclusive Brethren. The rest is about her father, his dying, how he'd been in prison, her forebears were fisherfolk and very uninteresting stories about their family. I really don't need a whole paragraph on how such minutae as how some people dressed up and went outside to have their photo taken and the only impressive one was her father (of course) as he looked romantic.

The author can write well, pe
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So this book has taken me longer to read than it should have as I started it back in November and then Christmas and job interviews and all sorts happened. So started again a few days ago and whizzed through it. I thought it was a fascinating evocation of an all too close world we know so little of and also a chance for some of the silenced female stories within male dominated cults to be heard. Plus it’s a moving tale of a daughter and fathers complex relationship. I thought it was fantastic an ...more
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is an incredibly interesting memoir, about being born into, and growing up in the Brethren, which was a Christian cult, that separates members from everything seemingly worldly. This was mainly set in Brighton, England, in the early 1970's. What actually started as a somewhat strict religious community, eventually evolved into a cult mainly due to a change of leadership. The leader, named Jim Taylor junior, came from New York City, to lead the community. This resulted in members being ...more
This was a perfect book for my interests, and just the kind of thing I would love to write someday. It’s a bereavement memoir that opens with Stott’s father succumbing to pancreatic cancer and eliciting her promise to help finish his languishing memoir; it’s a family memoir that tracks generations through England, Scotland and Australia; and it’s a story of faith and doubt, of the absolute certainty experienced inside the Exclusive Brethren (a Christian sect that numbers 45,000 worldwide) and ho ...more
Barbara (The Bibliophage)
Full review at

As her father is dying, Rebecca Stott agrees to finish his memoirs. In doing so, she tells the story of four generations including her own. Starting with her great-grandfather, her family had been part of a religious sect called the Brethren. While her family is located in England, the Protestant sect had members and various divisions throughout the world.

At the center of the story is the decade of the 1960s, which Stott’s father dramatically refers to as the “Na
Alice Lippart
A little dry in points, but otherwise very interesting.
Heena Rathore P.
A FANTASTIC READ! I will be writing the review for this book in the coming days as my head is spinning with so many things to say about this book. There is so much to learn from this book about cults and sects and how people wrongly perceive them. I read this book for my own novel's research and I'm really happy to have read this book as it was a really, really good read.

Val Robson
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
This is a sad but gripping true story of Rebecca Stott's family who were 'caught up in' the Exclusive Brethren. 'Caught up in' being the phrase that her mother always used when describing their time in the Exclusive Brethren. They are a group who claim to be Christians but who exhibit an alarming amount of very un-Christian like behaviour. Their overall leader is known as the Elect Vessel and claims to be a prophet of God. He claims to speak the absolute word of God and if members do not agree w ...more
I must admit I don’t understand the hype with this book.
The premise of life in a cult could have been so interesting , but this was boring and lacked character in the telling.
I don’t feel that I got to know the father , the narrator or much about the cult to be honest. A very matter of fact read , but there have been much better books based on being in a cult out there that I have read.
Andrew Howdle
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rebecca Stott (Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia) was raised within the Exclusive Brethren, a religious group that she describes as a "cult"; a damning term, yet one that she fully justifies. The title gives a perfect image of how she lived: as a child waiting for the second Flood, not sure if she would be part of the Rapture or not (and thus be saved); as a young girl with no voice among a world of men, clinging to any love that might become an ark. The memoir trace ...more
BAM Endlessly Booked
A big thank you to Rebecca Stott, Spiegel and Grau, and Netgalley for the free copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
Rebecca's family belonged to a fundamentalist Brethren cult in England. She was fourth generation. It took the strength and willpower of her father to pull the family out, but not before suffering the typical neglect and discrimination associated with belonging to these religious groups.
Rebecca sets out to tell her father's story in this book- his childhood, his m
Olga Hammock
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I grew up in the Exclusive Brethren though my parents left when the ‘eating’ issue came in but we continued in our own ex-Exclusive meeting until I was 14. Nevertheless, I still found Rebecca Stott’s account horrifying. Much of it resonates with me but there were things I didn’t know about the Taylorites that made me incredibly sad, that people can be so blinded to reality and truth because of a man’s ego, because they have faith in that man. I was also sad for the author’s father who never reco ...more
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes the line between a church and a cult can be a thin one. Spiritual abuse can happen in both. I found this book to be very eye-opening and thought provoking, as well as very honestly portraying how cults, The Brethren in particular, operate.
We all think we'd be able to spot them from a mile away, well maybe not. It seems you need to know the truth first in order to be able to discern the false. If the false is believed first, then it seems, the truth becomes harder to grasp or trust.
May 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, god-stuff
A memoir exploring Stott’s childhood in the Exclusive Brethren, a very strict Christian sect that became a cult in the ’60s and was rocked by a sex scandal in the ’70s. Stott’s father, who had been a pillar of their EB community in Brighton, pulled the family out then, and the book is something of an attempt to lay his ghost (Stott uses this metaphor herself) after he dies several decades later. It’s beautifully written, a thoughtful, curious, compassionate and fascinating account of religious m ...more
Claire Fuller
Fascinating memoir about the cult that Rebecca Stott grew up in, and her life (and that of her father) after her family leaves. The audio version is read beautifully by Rebecca, and the writing is great. There is quite a bit of history about the closed brethren group she belonged to, and although I could see this was needed for background, it was how the rules affected individuals (often with tragic consequences) and her family in particular that I was most interested in. Highly recommended.
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Rapture, rupture and re-entry to the world.

Rebecca Stott’s memoir about her family’s involvement with the Exclusive Brethren is divided into three parts: her formative years in the sect, her father’s disillusionment when scandal engulfed its leadership and the family’s subsequent withdrawal from the group to become part of ‘the normal world’.

The Exclusive Brethren, a subset of the Plymouth Brethren, is a cultish evangelist movement with some 43,000 members worldwide. It holds that the devout am
An interesting read about Rebecca Stott, her father, and building a life after leaving the Exclusive Brethren. As Stott's father is dying he asks for her help to complete his memoir but he has been stuck on writing about the 1960's - he needs to face what he became while in the all-consuming cult the Exclusive Brethren became.
Stott was born into the Exclusive Brethren, just as her father had been. When Stott was born the Brethren were a strict religion but in the 1960's and 70's it crossed the l
Rebecca Stott's family has been in a religious group named the Extreme Brethren for several generations. In the 1970s, her father kicked out to the family's relief but her father's folly. The book is extremely readable and difficult to put down. I read it in two days. The author uses her father's death as an umbrella event to tell her family's story. He has cancer and she is the family member who volunteering to watch over him as he spends time in the hospital and at home slowly dying. The fathe ...more
Rebecca Stott’s father had been wanting to write a memoir about his family life. For generations, his family had been members of a Christian sect that had steadily got more fundamentalist. He could only brush the surface of the past though as every time he ventured deeper into his memories the mental anguish meant that he could not carry on. When he was dying, he tried to persuade her to help him.

Rebecca had grown up in this Brethren sect too, with its draconian rules about what the members coul
Jun 08, 2017 rated it liked it
I've always been fascinated by religious cults, particularly since I now believe I had once been introduced to one. This book is written by an adult daughter when she comes back home to look after her dying Father, and decides to write about her childhood and her father's involvement in the upper echelon of the Exclusive Brethren. It was a harsh and restrictive time that she grew up in, trying to adapt at making friends and attend school when she wasn't allowed to have contact with those that we ...more
Angelique Simonsen
really enjoyed the beginning and the middle finding the writing occasionally funny even though it's a bit of a dark subject. The end felt anticlimactic although there was now her father's fall to contend with ...more
Aj Sterkel
Dec 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
In The Days Of Rain: A Daughter, A Father, A Cult by Rebecca Stott is a beautifully written memoir. I love the author’s descriptions of the English countryside. They make me wish I could travel. The book is mostly about the author’s father. He was a Shakespearian actor, a gambling addict, a former prisoner, and a high-ranking member of a religious cult. This memoir is his daughter’s attempt to sort out his messy history in order to understand him better. I have mixed feelings about the book. Whe ...more
Richard Moss
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2020
Rebecca Stott's account of growing up as part of the Exclusive Brethren - a fundamentalist Christian sect - eschews sensation for a measured, honest depiction of being part of what she calls a "cult".

Her account starts with her nursing her terminally-ill father - a man who was at once the heart of the Church but left some time before his illness.

He is trying to write a history of it, including his time as a member. It is a task though he is too sick to complete, and so his daughter agrees to see
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a well-written story of growing up in a dysfunctional family--in this case, the Exclusive Brethren, which have congregations all over the world despite being very small. The book reminded me a little of Oranges Are not the Only Fruit, by Jeannette Winterson, except Winterson's book about growing up in a strange English sect was complicated by her being a lesbian and suffering that particular brand of ostracism.

The cult that the author grew up in in the U.K. was so restrictive and harsh t
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have an interest in religious cults and I have a read a lot of books on the subject, including memoirs from former members; but I’d never heard of The Brethren. I was surprised therefore to find out that it existed in the U.K. and that the author had grown up within a cult in liberal, progressive Brighton - a place I know very well.

“In the Days of Rain” tells the author’s story but is particularly centred on her father, who, as a former member, had intended to write his memoirs but died before
Man, this was quite a heavy read at times, but on the other hand it was incredibly honest and sweet. There's a constant current of empathy in this book that I always appreciate when reading about cult survivors -- there can be so much judgement regarding how a person could be so easily fooled, and it's nice to see such genuine understanding even from a person hurt by those decisions (in this case, a daughter born into a cult her parents were in).

This isn't strictly the story of a cult, though th
Aug 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
Moderately interesting. I picked this up at the library. The author, who is British, moved into an old windmill in East Anglia with her father to care for him in his final months as he was dying from cancer. She spent a lot of time recording interviews with him in order to complete the memoir he had begun. The defining time in both of their lives was the years spent in a strict Christian sect, the Brethren. She was just a child and the family left the cult when she was about eleven, but the expe ...more
Liz Mc2
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, memoir
When Stott’s father was dying, he spent hours telling her about his time in the Exclusive Brethren, a separatist Christian sect, and the divisions that caused him to leave—stories meant for a planned memoir he knew he couldn’t finish. Eventually, she realized that this was her story too, and wrote it her way, though her father and their relationship are at the heart of the book.

She divides it into three parts: Before, recounting the history of earlier generations of her family in the Brethren; D
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rebecca Stott is from a family belonging to a religious sect called the Exclusive brethren.
Living conditions resembling more like a cult ethos and dictates Rebecca struggles to make sense of life under a sometimes tyrannical father and a family like a cooking pot ready to explode under the constant pressure living upto these religious ideals demanded of them.
We see the day to day existence of surviving the insidious and seeming monotony under harsh rules.
The brain washing is intense and is writ
Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
gripping book about growing up in a cult, and then the aftermath of leaving it. While it focuses on her relationship with her truly charismatic and chaotic father, one is left longing to know what happened with her mother? Stott repeatedly says that in the Brethren women have no say...and her mother remains voiceless. Nor do we find out the names of her siblings which strikes me as odd as this is very much or could have been, the story of a family. It is beautifully told, and while I couldnt tel ...more
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Rebecca Stott was born in Cambridge in 1964 and raised in Brighton in a large Plymouth Brethren community. She studied English and Art History at York University and then completed an MA and PhD whilst raising her son, Jacob, born in 1984.

She is the author of several academic books on Victorian literature and culture, two books of non-fiction, including a partial biography of Charles Darwin, and a

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