Friday, November 6, 2015

Review: The Girl Who Slept with God by Val Brelinski

Set in Arco, Idaho, in 1970, Val Brelinski’s powerfully affecting first novel tells the story of three sisters: young Frances, gregarious and strong-willed Jory, and moral-minded Grace. Their father, Oren, is a respected member of the community and science professor at the local college. Yet their mother’s depression and Grace’s religious fervor threaten the seemingly perfect family, whose world is upended when Grace returns from a missionary trip to Mexico and discovers she’s pregnant with—she believes—the child of God.

Distraught, Oren sends Jory and Grace to an isolated home at the edge of the town. There, they prepare for the much-awaited arrival of the baby while building a makeshift family that includes an elderly eccentric neighbor and a tattooed social outcast who drives an ice cream truck.

The Girl Who Slept with God is a literary achievement about a family’s desperate need for truth, love, purity, and redemption.

Received for review

As soon as I saw the title on this I almost dropped it like a hot potato but I decided to persevere and give it at least a couple chapters before making an ultimate decision.  I did make it through a few chapters and then had to abandon it.  I just couldn't manage to slog through any more.

The premise was just ridiculous - a member of an evangelical church being a science professor?  Who even did that hiring?  I mean, could there even be a worse combination than that?  What is he teaching exactly?  That dinosaurs and humans existed at the same time?  That the world is 6,000 years old?  It's a mystery.  I almost gave up right there but continued to slog onwards like a turtle swimming in cold molasses.

Grace was an idiot.  I fluctuated between wanting to smack some sense into her and wanting to commit her since she was obviously batshit crazy.  Jory was a complete bitch and I had absolutely zero sympathy for her either.

Overall, between the completely ridiculous premise and the decidedly unlikeable characters I really cannot recommend this.  The only enjoyment I found in it was when I finally gave up all hope and closed the cover for the last time.  I think it would actually be more entertaining to read a textbook about astrophysics than this book.  Admire the pretty cover and then just walk on by.

★★☆☆☆ = Just Okay

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