Friday, October 7, 2011

The Scent of Rain and Lightning - Discussion 1

Happy Friday!!!! Welcome to any newbies and any oldies to the Friday book talk!

I will be honest, when I started out reading the first chapter I was like oooooh man, this is a lot of wordy descriptions of people and I am going to shoot myself. Then it picked up.  I flew through chapters 2-10.

I get the impression that if Annabelle and Hugh were my parents or in my town I'd find them presumptuous, annoying and meddling.  For reals.

And oh my gosh.. That poor cow! We live across the road from a farm and every fall when they move the cows and calves it's so sad.  The mama cows cry so loud for their calves for like 4 days! The first two days it is 24/7 non-stop.  I hope it doesn't make me cry for real this year.  Speaking of, it should probably be happening this weekend or next.

Blurb from author interview:

Random House Readers Circle: How did the idea for this story come about?
Nancy Pickard: It started with the landscape. I saw a photograph of Monument Rocks in Gove County, Kansas, and it blew me away. Since then, I’ve been out there to see them. They are so unexpected, so enormous, so beautiful, and they’re such a dramatic contrast to the ultraflat ground from which they rise. Even from seeing only a photo, I sensed I had to set a story there. (In the novel, I renamed them Testament Rocks.)

RHRC: Many reviewers have raved about your ability to make Kansas come alive in this book and your previous book. The setting for The Scent of Rain and Lightning is very different from the one you used in The Virgin of Small Plains. How do you choose the settings and landscapes for your stories?
NP: I think they choose me. Something about a landscape will grab me and haunt me. It won’t let go until it has its very own book! Currently I’m working on a book set in the farthest corner of southeastern Kansas, and for a long time I couldn’t figure out why I felt such a compulsion to write about it. It doesn’t have the gorgeous expansive landscape of Virgin or the surprising, spectacular landscape of Scent, so what was pulling me toward it? I finally realized that the landscape under its ground is as interesting as any landscape above ground in other places.

1. Have you read anything else by Nancy Pickard? What was it? Would you recommend it?

2.  What role does weather have in the novel?

3. Have you ever been to a ranch?

4. Do you think Laurie is having an affair or just flirting at this point? Who do you think she is having an affair with? (if you've already finished,  you can put who you thought as you read)

5.  Do you ever keep forgetting that the book is placed in Kansas and not Texas?

6. What is your first impression of the characters so far? (Annabelle, Hugh, Hugh-Jay, Chase, Bobby, Billy Crosby, Laurie, Belle, Jody, Val, Collin etc.. )

Thanks for participating! Come back next week for Discussion 2 over chapters 12-20!

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