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The Scent of Rain and Lightning (MP3 CD)
March 2010 Indie Next List
“Nancy Pickard manages to write like the prairies where she locates her story--big, unexpected, unforgiving, and generous all at the same time. The story follows Jody Linder and her extended family as they face the release of the man convicted of killing of Jody's father, and now grated a new trial. The family struggles once again with the murder and its impact, and finally with the question of justice and the truth.”
— Susie Wilmer, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, CO
One beautiful summer afternoon, Jody Linder, a young English teacher, is unnerved to see her three uncles parking their pickups in front of her parents' house--or what she calls her parents' house, even though they have been gone almost all of Jody's life. The three bring shocking news: the man convicted of murdering Jody's father is being released from prison and returning to the small town of Rose, Kansas. It has been twenty-six years since that stormy night when Jody's father was shot and killed and her mother disappeared, presumed dead. Neither the protective embrace of Jody's uncles nor the safe haven of her grandparents' ranch could erase the pain caused by Billy Crosby that night. Now Billy has been granted a new trial, thanks in large part to the efforts of his son, Collin, a lawyer who has spent most of his life trying to prove his father's innocence. Jody knows that sooner or later she'll come face-to-face with the man who she believes destroyed her family. But what she doesn't expect are the heated exchanges with Collin. Having grown up practically side by side in this very small town, Jody and Collin have a long history of carefully avoiding each other's eyes. Now Jody discovers that underneath their antagonism is a shared sense of loss that no one else could possibly understand. As she revisits old wounds, startling revelations compel her to uncover the dangerous truth about her family's tragic past. Engrossing, lyrical, and suspenseful, The Scent of Rain and Lightning captures the essence of small-town America--its heartfelt intimacy and its darkest secrets--where through struggle and hardship people still dare to hope for a better future. For Jody Linder, maybe even love.