The Scent of Rain and Lightning (Review and Audio Giveaway)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Title: The Scent of Rain and Lightning
Author: Nancy Pickard
Pages: 336
Audio Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Genre: fiction, mystery
Ballantine (Random House)
Release Date: May 4, 2010

What a fabulously, well-crafted novel this was! Despite being an utterly city-obsessed girl myself, I was absolutely drawn into the life of the characters in this small Kansas town. The Scent of Rain and Lightning starts out in the present time. Jody Linder (29-years-old) is approached at her home by her three uncles who inform her that Bill Crosby, the man who has served 26 of 40 years in jail for murdering her father (and potentially her mother), has been released due to his sentence being commuted. This scandal rocks the small farming town where everyone knows everyone. In fact, Jody has grown up alongside Collin Crosby, son of the infamous Bill Crosby; Collin, now a fledgling attorney, has used his new litigious skills to secure a new trial for his father in an attempt to prove his innocence.

The book then returns back 26 years to the days leading up to the murder of Jody's father. This portion of the novel takes up much more than I expected; in fact, after the first chapter, the rest of the first half of the book focuses on this time frame. This book was not a quick whodunit type of mystery -- and thank goodness, because had it been that, the reader would not have had an opportunity to relish Nancy Pickard's fantastic storytelling. Through deliberate pacing, Pickard crafted a story full of unearthed family secrets and snapshots of small town/country living. And like the tornadoes so well known to Kansas, Pickard sweeps the reader up into the atmosphere of her story.

I adored getting to know the characters in this town as well as observing the dynamics in the Linder family. The mystery picked up more near the end and, although I thought I had guessed the ending, I was still caught off guard which contributed to my enjoyment of the novel. The tension between families was also an interesting observation, as Jody had to grow up with not only those who interacted with both her family and that of the convicted murderer, but his actual son as well. I most definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy reading fiction in general.

I listened to the audio version of this book and thought the production was wonderful. Tavia Gilbert narrated well, and I liked most of the character voice changes; the one that kept pulling me out of the story was her interpretation of 3-year-old Jody -- but I'll admit half the time it hit me as strange but at other times it was sort of cute and worked.

And now for the GIVEAWAY!

I will be giving away my AUDIO copy of this book. It is unabridged and is 8 cd's long. I just recently bought this audio book and listened to it once, so it is in great shape.

To enter, just leave a comment below and let me know if you'd like to be entered. You don't have to be a follower of my blog; however, I will post the name of the winner on my blog instead of e-mailing the winner so keep an eye out!

The winner will be announced on July 10, 2010.


Julie P. said...

I love Nancy Pickard and I'm trying to "get into" audio books so this would be a perfect win for me! Thanks for the opportunity!

Juju at Tales of said...

This sounds great. Nice review :)

Tavia said...

Thanks so much for the nice review of the audio. I am aware of my responsibility to portray children as authentically and compassionately as adult characters. I'm pleased you enjoyed some of the performance of Jody as a child, and the book overall. It was a satisfying project to work on!
Happy reading and listening!
Best - Tavia Gilbert

Trisha said...

Imitating a child's voice is extremely touchy for an adult - it typically borders on the ridiculous, the funny, no matter how well done it is. :) On another note, thanks for the suggestion; this sounds like a fun read. But I'll definitely be reading as audio books and I just don't get along. ;)

Emidy said...

Whoa, sounds great! I love mysteries like this. Excellent review.

Zibilee said...

Oh, I have heard a lot of great things about this book and think it would be a great read for me. Please do enter me in your generous giveaway. I would love to win this one!!

Sandy Jay said...

I'd love to win this. Thanks for the giveaway.

Melissa M said...

I'd love to win this one. It looks wonderful and I love small town settings. Thanks for the giveaway!

karenk said...

would enjoy listening to this fabulous novel...thanks for the chance :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Cindy W. said...

Enjoyed the review and would love to win The Scent of Rain & Lighting. Thank you for the opportunity.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


softdrink said...

Don't enter me...I just read the book! I was surprised by whodunit, too. Part of me thought I knew who did it, but part said it was too obvious. But the end still surprised, so kudos to Pickard for keeping me guessing!

Amanda said...

What a beautiful cover, and it sounds like a wonderful book! I'm not entering the contest though because I need to not acquire anything at all in the next few months. Absolutely necessary not to get anything new!

Kaya said...

Please count me in if this is an international contest.


Jenny said...

Tavia -- thank you so much for stopping by!! I really enjoyed the audio production! I can see where protraying children would be much more difficult (especially 3-year-olds, haha!)

bookmagic said...

I loved The Virgin of Small Plains so I can't wait to read this one. No need to enter me.

Yvonne said...

No need to enter me. I just finished reading it. It sounds like you loved it as much as I did.

Margie said...

Sounds like an interesting book, good mystery. We're always looking for good audios to listen to while traveling.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Susan said...

No need to enter me in the contest as I never listen to audiobooks. I just wanted to say that I love Pickard and had no idea she had a new book out. Thanks for the head's up! I'll be looking for this one ...

Nancye said...

This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Teena in Toronto said...

I finished it tonight and wasn't crazy about it.

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