Tragic, disturbing, captivating, but utterly fantastic!
The Scent of Rain’s blurb promised I would find a tragic story about a teen girl’s life inside a Mormon fundamentalist (FLDS) group. This story delivered her heart-breaking story along with a few unexpected surprises.
Rose Marsden is older than the average age most girls are married off to an elder man in the Mormon Fundamentalist (FLDS) community she’s a member of. She doesn’t know much about life outside the community but she knows she doesn’t want to be forced into marriage and she knows the abuse handed down from her mother isn’t right. With bravery Rose doesn’t know that exists within her she runs away from the only community she has every known. Adan Reyes is a teen run away from a foster home. Almost dead on the road from heat stroke a local handyman/former military medic Trak finds Adan and takes him home to recover. Adan grows leery that Trak will call child protective services so he runs away for a second time. And for a second time he succumbs to heat stroke but this time is found and rescued by Rose. Now Rose and Adan are being tracked by the FLDS and when found the FLDS has different plans for the both of them.
OMG. Read this book! I have seen TV programs about these Mormon Fundamentalist communities but reading this story just shocks you to your very core because you realize these groups are less about religion and more about mind control and using religion as an excuse to abuse children. This author does a fantastic job placing you inside the fundamentalist community as well as outside in the non-fundamentalist (normal) community that resides near it and what they witness and ultimately do nothing about. This story is told from multiple points of view but mainly from Rose, Adan, and Trak. What I really enjoyed about this story was the ability of the author to write a story from the point of view of the various villains; the Prophet of the FLDS group that has had 70+ wives, the Marshall of the local police department that hides behind his legit law enforcement job but his priority is a committed FLDS leader, and finally Rose’s abusive horrible mother. The only minor complaint with the story is I had hoped for more background on Adan. He was a victim in the foster care system and I felt a little more should have been told to build his story out a bit. You really don’t learn a whole lot of what he endured in the foster care system. Besides that minor complaint, this is a page turning story that is interesting, shocking, and sad but there is happiness and a few unexpected heroes at the end.
When I finished this book it very much reminded me of the book All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood. Though the stories are vastly different the vibe felt the same so I think fans of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things would like The Scent of Rain. I would recommend this book for readers age 17+. There isn’t much language but there is some violence and the subject matter of FLDS communities is not for younger readers.
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