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

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  1,581 ratings  ·  217 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 Spiegel & Grau
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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…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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Average rating 3.69  · 
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 ·  1,581 ratings  ·  217 reviews

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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
Jo (The Bookish pianist)
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
Alice Lippart
A little dry in points, but otherwise very interesting.
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
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.
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
BAM The Bibliomaniac
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Rebecca Stott was born into a cult. So was her father. He was a high ranking official in the church called the Exclusive Brethren. An End of Times cult, they felt they had to purify themselves so they would be bodily taken up when the Rapture occurred. The rules became more restrictive through the years; not only did they restrict all information sources to the Bible and their own publications, but they limited contact with outsiders to almost nothing. Women were to be seen and not heard. Then t ...more
Aksel Dadswell
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully written, heart-breaking, infuriating account of the author's childhood growing up in the Brethren, this was so memorable for Stott's portrayal of both the ways in which the strict, highly sheltered environment can affect and inhibit a child's worldview, as well as the impact it had on her family as a whole, with a particular focus on her father. I barely read biographies and am much more of a fiction reader, but this is one I'd recommend to even the most staunch opponents of "real ...more
John Pannell
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be, in places, quite a harrowing read. It is a very well written book, which I found very hard to put down, even while reading some of the more emotive chapters. Having lived in an intentional Christian community which was influenced strongly by the Brethren, where all kinds of abuse happened am determined to make sure it can never happen again. Thank you for having the courage to write his book.
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent! I found this book to be so interesting. I have always wondered what makes people join cults and how they control their followers. This book gave an insight into that world. I also realized that the church that was located down our road when I lived in the UK was/is the same cult. I had no idea until I read this book and did some exploring. This book is also about a family and how they managed with leaving the cult. Totally recommend it>
A fascinating memoir about growing up in the Exclusive Brethren, a "Christian" end-of-days sect/cult which advocates complete separation from everything 'worldly'.
The book is also partly a biography of the author's father as he started writing his own memoir of the Brethren before he died, and the author relays a lot of his thoughts and experiences.
Hilary Hanselman
Jan 21, 2018 rated it liked it
This was incredibly well written but very heavy on detail which slowed down my pace and made it a bit less enjoyable. I blame my mood more than the book and expect that I’ll read it again someday and get more out of it
Thomas J
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Personally I found the book captivating and couldn't put it down - well, sometimes I had to, I'm a bit of a slow reader. I've read a couple of books by daughters of strange fathers ("Banished", "I Fired God", "Fiction Ruined My Family") but at least Rebecca Stott's dad got them out of a cult instead of into one.

Not much else I can say that other reviewers haven't said - it's either your cup of tea or it isn't. I loved it.
Jan 03, 2019 rated it liked it
I grew up in the Open Brethren ... not the same group that this author writes about, but with some similarities.... so for that reason I found it interesting.
Jul 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
In the Days of Rain

A fascinating memoir of the life of a family enmeshed in the Brethern belief system. This memoir is literate and accessible with some horrifying insights into fanatical religious beliefs
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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
“Hypnagogic and hypnopompic,” he said, as if he was used to diagnosing the odd conditions of dinner companions like this all the time. “They’re hallucinations that happen when you are falling asleep—hypnagogic—and when you wake up—hypnopompic.” He’d had them too, he told me. And so had Vladimir Nabokov. He urged me to read Nabokov’s description of them in his memoir, Speak Memory.” 0 likes
“Many people assume that leaving a cult like the Brethren must be exhilarating. ‘You had no TV or pop music or cinema,’ they say, ‘and then you did? It must have been amazing!’ But when you see interviews with people who have recently left cults, they describe feeling bewildered and frightened; their eyes dart around, searching for points of reference, metaphors that would get somewhere close to describing the feeling of being lost, not-at-home, without walls.” 0 likes
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