The Scent of Rain
by: Anne Montgomery
Published by:Treehouse Publishing Group
Format: Mobi (Kindle file)
Source: Author (via YA Books Central)
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’, centers mainly around Rose. Rose is a teenager living in a fundamentalist Mormon community. The main storyline centers on Rose’s terrifying life. The story is told through multiple points of view. The POV’s are those of Rose, Adan ,the FLDS ‘prophet’, Trak, Chase, and Brooke (Adan Trak, Chase, and Brooke are neighbors and not part of the FDLS community).
One of my favorite topics to read about is subcultures that are embedded within our own communities. ‘The Scent of Rain’ takes on the huge task of bringing to light the FLDS community. Absolutely nothing prepared me for the inner workings of the FLDS.
FLDS members never leave their small community. The women must dress, and style their hair a certain way. Young girls are forced into plural marriages with older men. Most importantly everyone must follow whatever the ‘prophet’ dictates.
The ‘prophet’, in Montgomery’s story, is a mentally ill man who dictates his every whim to the community. He lives a lavish lifestyle (with over 70 wives) while the rest of his community scrape together a meager existence.
The characters in ‘The Scent of Rain’ added to an already amazing storyline. The various points of view give us a wide perspective of what is going on the FDLS community. We get not only the prophet’s and Rose’s perspective but also the perspective of outsiders. I think the views of the outsiders demonstrates just how horrifying the events in the novel are.
Rose must endure a terrible home and community life. She faces hunger, physical. and mental abuse as well as witnessing cruelty to animals, the degradation of women, and disabled children being mistreated.
I was totally pulled into Rose’s story. At every turn, I really wanted Rose to get away from her community and lead a better life. Various members of the outside community do attempted to help Rose. These attempts are met with heavy resistance from the FDLS community.
I did read other reviews that stated the ‘who done it’ mystery in the book distracted from Rose’s storyline. While ‘The Scent of Rain’ would have gotten its point across without the mystery storyline, I think it added emphasis to how twisted the FLDS community had become. I am, however, more unsure of whether the character of Adan was that important. I do think that his story brought us more knowledge about Trak, Chase, and Brooke. These characters were important because they were outsiders to the FDLS community and gave a wide perspective.
‘The Scent of Rain’ emphasis the symbolism of water and rain being purifying ,and redeeming while at the same time being harsh and deadly (much like religion). There was several mentions of petrichor in ‘The Scent of Rain’. Petrichor is the scent of rain hitting dry earth. I instantly knew what the scent smelled like and loved how the characters often referred to it.
There are a couple of things that left me wanting more. The end did wrap-up rather quickly. I would have preferred s subtler ending. Also, in my Kindle addition, the formatting was off. Many pages had the page header (title and author name) popping up in the middle of a paragraphs.
I loved , ‘The Scent of Rain’ . It is very apparent that Montgomery did extensive amounts of research. This makes the events in the book all the more terrifying. ‘The Scent of Rain’ absolutely reads like dystopian novel (i.e. The ‘Handmaid’s Tale). Even though I must give a strong trigger waning for this novel, I absolutely think everyone should read it.