Title: The Scent of Rain
Author: Anne Montgomery
Publisher: Treehouse Publishing Group
Rose Madsen will do anything to keep from being married off to one of the men in her Fundamentalist Mormon (FLDS) community, even endure the continued beatings and abuse of her mother. But when her mentally handicapped baby sister is forced to strangle the bird she loves at the behest of the Prophet, Rose frees the bird and runs away.
Adan Reyes will do anything to escape the abusive foster care system in Phoenix, even leaving his good friends and successful high school athletic career behind him. Ill-prepared for surviving the desert, Adan hits the road only to suffer heat stroke. Found by a local handyman, he catches a glimpse of a mysterious girl–Rose–running through town, and follows her into the mountains where they are both tracked and discovered by the men of the FLDS community.
With their fates now intertwined, can Rose and Adan escape the systems locking them into lives of abuse? Will Rose be forced to marry the Prophet, a man her father’s age, and be one of dozens of wives, perpetually pregnant, with no hope for an education? Will Adan be returned to the foster home where bullying and cruelty are common? Is everyone they meet determined to keep them right where they belong or are some adults worthy of their trust?
The Scent of Rain is an interesting, well-researched novel about a subject I find incredibly interesting: religious cults/ organisations.
The novel follows various characters involved with the Fundamentalist Mormon community, and their experiences. There are some hard to read parts which are really shocking, and here you can tell that the story is well-researched as there is a lot of small details which makes the story even more interesting.
The characters themselves were interesting to read about, though I found some to be a little under-developed – I felt like some of them could have been fleshed out a little more to make me care more about what happened to them – and some of the story a little predictable. Plus, at the beginning, when the point of view changed a lot, it could be a little difficult to remember who was who. However, I felt myself really care about Rose and her predicament as the novel went on, and though there were plenty of horrible (or perhaps just misguided?) characters in this novel, there were also some nicer people that I found myself caring about.
Though there were plenty of uncomfortable, shocking parts, the subject matter itself is very intriguing and I reallyenjoyed finding out more about a community like the Fundamentalist Mormons. It’s crazy (and awful, in my opinion) to think that people are forced to live a certain way like that in a first world country such as America, and duped into believing that – for example – having three wives, or dressing a certain way, will help them in the afterlife. Add to that parents so brainwashed (or so I felt, anyway!) that they’d go against their children’s happiness to appease the Prophet, and you have one messed up community which made for an interesting read!
Many thanks to the author, Anne Montgomery, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.