Reading guide for The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Scent of Rain and Lightning

A Novel

by Nancy Pickard

The Scent of Rain and Lightning
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2010, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2011, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

Engrossing, lyrical, and suspenseful, Nancy Pickard's 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.

The questions and discussion topics that follow are intended to enhance your reading of Nancy Pickard's The Scent of Rain and Lightning

  1. The Scent of Rain and Lightning revolves around the theme of revenge. What does this novel tell us about the nature of revenge?
  2. The theme of forgiveness also plays a large role in the novel. How does the story reveal the challenges of forgiveness? Are the characters clearly in one camp or the other (revenge or forgiveness)? If so, how would you divide them?  And which characters, if any, bridge these emotions?
  3. What role does the community play in Billy's conviction? Can it be held culpable?
  4. How does the author use weather and landscape as symbols in her writing?
  5. Why does Pickard title her novel as she does? What is the meaning behind it?
  6. Having read the novel, do you think it's better or worse to live in a small town when dealing with a personal tragedy?
  7. What is the significance of the Testament Rocks?
  8. The Linders are portrayed as being the most influential family in the county. Do you think their power corrupted them in any way?  Do you think they tried to be good people?
  9. Even with the best intentions, good people can make terrible mistakes.  Do you think the Linders had good intentions? At what points did those intentions go wrong?
  10. What clues in the book led you to guess the true identity of the killer? Who do you think the real murderer is?
  11. Do you think Pickard laid sufficient groundwork for the discovery of the killer's identity to be believable? Can a person really hide their true character from so much family so successfully for so many years?
  12. Now that the truth is known, do you think that Jody Linder and Collin Crosby can ever truly be together?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Ballantine Books. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: A Great Reckoning
    A Great Reckoning
    by Louise Penny
    Canadian author Louise Penny is back with her twelfth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...
  • Book Jacket: When Breath Becomes Air
    When Breath Becomes Air
    by Paul Kalanithi
    When Breath Becomes Air is the autobiography of Paul Kalanithi, written in the time period between ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Who Said...

When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.