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In the Days of Rain: Book summary and reviews of In the Days of Rain by Rebecca Stott

In the Days of Rain

A Daughter, a Father, a Cult

by Rebecca Stott

In the Days of Rain by Rebecca Stott X
In the Days of Rain by Rebecca Stott
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  • Published Jul 2017
    320 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

A father-daughter story that tells of the author's experience growing up in a separatist fundamentalist Christian cult, from the author of the national bestseller Ghostwalk.

Rebecca Stott grew up in in Brighton, England, as a fourth-generation member of the Exclusive Brethren, a cult that believed the world is ruled by Satan. In this closed community, books that didn't conform to the sect's rules were banned, women were subservient to men and were made to dress modestly and cover their heads, and those who disobeyed the rules were punished and shamed. Yet Rebecca's father, Roger Stott, a high-ranking Brethren minister, was a man of contradictions: he preached that the Brethren should shun the outside world, yet he kept a radio in the trunk of his car and hid copies of Yeats and Shakespeare behind the Brethren ministries. Years later, when the Stotts broke with the Brethren after a scandal involving the cult's leader, Roger became an actor, filmmaker, and compulsive gambler who left the family penniless and ended up in jail.
 
A curious child, Rebecca spent her insular childhood asking questions about the world and trying to glean the answers from forbidden library books. Only when she was an adult and her father was dying of cancer did she begin to understand all that had occurred during those harrowing years. It was then that Roger Stott handed her the memoir he had begun writing about the period leading up to what he referred to as the traumatic "Nazi decade," the years in the 1960s in which he and other Brethren leaders enforced coercive codes of behavior that led to the breaking apart of families, the shunning of members, even suicides. Now he was trying to examine that time, and his complicity in it, and he asked Rebecca to write about it, to expose all that was kept hidden.
 
In the Days of Rain is Rebecca Stott's attempt to make sense of her childhood in the Exclusive Brethren, to understand her father's role in the cult and in the breaking apart of her family, and to come to be at peace with her relationship with a larger-than-life figure whose faults were matched by a passion for life, a thirst for knowledge, and a love of literature and beauty. A father-daughter story as well as a memoir of growing up in a closed-off community and then finding a way out of it, this is an inspiring and beautiful account of the bonds of family and the power of self-invention.

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Book Awards

  • award image Costa Book Awards, 2017

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Compelling... Stott is able to distance herself from her difficult childhood and brilliantly capture the challenges of her family's days in the brethren." - Publishers Weekly

"Rather than an invitation to voyeurism, this memoir is a serious examination of how and why - particularly how a group can match its power with enough dysfunction that its members become suicidal. Stott's look into her father's misguidedness offers readers a simultaneous warning and empathic embrace." - Booklist

"A compelling story of childhood deprivation, liberation, and, ultimately, hope." - Kirkus Reviews

"A marvelous, strange, terrifying book, somehow finding words both for the intensity of a childhood locked in a tyrannical secret world, and for the lifelong aftershocks of being liberated from it." - Francis Spufford, author of Golden Hill

"Writers are forged in strange fires, but none stranger than Rebecca Stott's...she survived, and - even more miraculous - found the compassion and understanding to do justice to the story of her father and the painful family life he created." - Sarah Dunant, author of The Birth of Venus

This information about In the Days of Rain was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Rebecca Stott Author Biography

Photo © 2004 Bruce Robertson

Rebecca Stott is a professor of English literature and creative writing at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. She is the author of Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution, the novels The Coral Thief and the national bestseller Ghostwalk, and a biography, Darwin and the Barnacle. She is a regular contributor to BBC Radio and lives in Norwich.

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Link to Rebecca Stott's Website

Other books by Rebecca Stott at BookBrowse
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