In the Days of Rain is an engrossing and deeply personal account of a childhood in a fundamentalist Christian sect. What happens after you leave? How do you get answers about your own life when silence prevails and some of the people you might ask are dying or dead? This complex and moving book is a daughter’s story of being brought up within the Exclusive Brethren, in which her father and grandfather were preachers.
The sect ordered followers to retreat from the world, and many commonplace things were banned. Stott’s nuclear family left when author was six but the break was never really discussed afterwards, and much of her extended family are still members of the Brethren.
The book opens with the adult children gathering in East Anglia as their father is dying. He asks his daughter to help write his memoir of life in the sect, including the parts he has previously found impossible to discuss, about the sect’s turbulent period in the 1960s. What results is Stott’s own account, including not only chunks of social religious history but also reflections on how it affects family relationships. This includes Stott’s own children, born well after her relationship with the sect ended. Best known as a writer on Darwin, Stott’s explanation of how she both discovered Darwin’s work and then wrote about it is particularly effective. An engaging story, well told and strangely hopeful.