"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." Groucho Marx

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard

The hop-scotch story telling in this novel prevented me from emotionally investing in any of the characters. Skipping through time and points of view made it difficult to attach to any of the Linders. Even without that element, the Linders are hard characters to love. They don't have any faults. How can you love people that are perfect in nearly every conceivable way? Beautiful, forgiving, charitable, positive, good parents, good patrons, good cooks... The list goes on.

That is not to say that this novel is completely without heart wrenching moments. Around the middle of the tale, a line born of the Linders' grieving brought tears to my eyes: "Once, his father found Chase still driving in fence posts at ten at night, after dark, and when he told him to stop, his big, tough, handsome son bent over the top of a post and sobbed." That line, acutely real, clearly illustrates how we often use work to postpone inevitable and necessary emotional breakdowns that pre-empt the healing of grieving hearts.

The ending is certainly suspenseful and shocking enough but the elements of the mystery don't begin culminating until the final scenes. By that time I was more than ready to call it quits with this one.

You will find an official plot line description at:


  1. Hi Chandra - you are so right, it is so hard to love people who are "perfect in every way". Great write-up; love your stuff.
    Cheers, Beejay

    1. Hi Beejay!
      Thanks for reading! The characters I like best are imperfect messes that remind me of me :-P.

      I hope you're reading something brilliant!