Scent of Rain, by Anne Montgomery

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4 stars

 

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I wish more people would recognize and acknowledge what danger cults and sects of extremist religion present. Scent of Rain is a novel that touches on such subjects, told through the eyes of a young girl subjected to the horrors. It presents the stomach-churning truth of child abuse suffered at the hands of extreme Mormonism.

While the story of Rose yearning for escape from her fundamentalist home is fiction, the surroundings are not. My husband is an ex-communicated Mormon (not one of the extreme groups, thankfully) and so I was announcing details to him as I read. He just looked at me and replied “yeah, that sounds right.” The novel seems to be an avocation for awareness of the subject, and it does so by not sugar-coating the details. Child brides, abuse, murder, xenophobia, molestations—I was disgusted and angry while reading. Not at the book or the subject matter in a sense, but the fact that these things still happen in the modern era. I’ll leave things at that to avoid sparking a controversial debate.

I liked the cohesiveness of the characters and the various developments they achieved throughout. Free-will and free-thinking are presented as powerful allies when all seems lost. Personal strength, conviction, and faith are all tested to the breaking point. It aids in not just the story, but in spiritual growth and personal development. Obedience is a subject to be used with moderation, and the author does a good job demonstrating how obedience without question can be such a dangerous and disgusting thing. Hence why cults are seen as such reprehensible things, usually.

This book excels in bringing out emotionality and conveying exactly the kinds of thoughts the author wanted. Now, there is some editing to be done. Mostly technical, though. This novel feels more like an exposé piece than a traditional novel, and so some of the missing elements are easily overlooked and forgiven.

It’s easy to see that this novel was difficult to write, and kudos to the author for sticking with such a dark subject matter. I liked the very explicit, in-your-face presentation of the facts interwoven with the narrative itself.

Buy it here!

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