Sunday, November 5, 2017


March 2017
386 Pages
Treehouse Publishing

Amazon Synopsis:
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?
My Thoughts:
It was a little eerie that I had just listened to a podcast about Jim Jones and his followers who committed mass suicide in Jonestown in 1978. As I read through this book I kept reflecting on what people do in the name of religion and their beliefs.
This is not a feel good, cozy book to read. We have all seen the Dateline and 20/20 specials that report disturbing stories on the FLDS- an real life cult community that actually exists in Colorado City, Arizona. Author, Anne Montgomery helps us step into the life of a fictional sixteen year old girl named Rose who has lived her entire life in this community. Everything that an outsider would view as odd or bizarre is everyday life for her. Rose is a typical teenager who has a bit of a rebellious streak which is absolutely forbidden in this town and her home. No questions are allowed, you are expected to obey without answers. This story is told from several points of view giving the reader a deeper look into life in the FLDS community. We get the perspective of Trak who lives in Hurricane, Utah-a town outside the community but does small jobs in Colorado City, he has grown up with this cult right next door and has come to believe that it's just the way things are-it disturbs him but what is he expected to do? We see things through the eyes of The Prophet, a man that members of the FLDS believe speaks revelation directly from God and expect his followers to obey without question-whether that means killing family pets or marrying sixteen year old girls to sixty year old men. Probably one of the most disturbing characters to me was Bliss, Roses' mother who is completely committed to The Prophet and punishes Rose verbally, emotionally, and physically when Rose does something she believes does not fall into line with the teachings of the Prophet. 
There were a couple characters that puzzled me because I wasn't sure why they were part of this particular book. A runaway named Adan comes into the story early on and is then inserted several times, but I never really truly understood his role in Roses' life. I really liked Adan and his back story which involves the foster care system and the deportation of his mother which is so relevant-especially right now. Adan could really have his own book. The other character that felt inserted simply to provide a love interest was Brooke, a social worker new to the area. Her only role was to simply find out that Adan was a runaway and be that special red head that catches Trak's eye.
Other than those few little issues I had with the story I thought "The Scent of Rain" was really good. A heartbreaking and tragic read but, this story also shows the resilience of the human spirit. People can go through hard things and still overcome. I appreciate the time and research that author, Anne Montgomery put into writing her book.
If you like this book I would also recommend a book called "The Chosen One" by Carol Lynch Williams. They both give a fascinating look into a disturbing reality going on right under our noses.
*I received a copy of this book by from the author for an honest review.

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