A fearless debut novel about the restorative power of truth and love after the trauma of abuse.
As sixteen-year-old Aidan Donovan's fractured family disintegrates around him, he searches for solace in a few bumps of Adderall, his father's wet bar, and the attentions of his local priest, Father Greg - the only adult who actually listens to him.
When Christmas hits, Aidan's world collapses in a crisis of trust when he recognizes the darkness of Father Greg's affections. He turns to a crew of new friends to help make sense of his life: Josie, the girl he just might love; Sophie, who's a little wild; and Mark, the charismatic swim team captain whose own secret agonies converge with Aidan's.
The Gospel of Winter maps the ways love can be used as a weapon against the innocent - but can also, in the right hands, restore hope and even faith. Brendan Kiely's unflinching and courageous debut novel exposes the damage from the secrets we keep and proves that in truth, there is power. And real love.
The question is not what am I to believe,
but what am I to do?
In order to tell you what really happened, what you don't know, what the journalists didn't report, I have to start at Mother's annual Christmas Eve party. Two nights before, as if the universe were the coproducer of her big show, a snowstorm whitewashed our little corner of Connecticut. Mother was thrilled. Electric candles in the windows, wreaths on the doors, picturesque drifts of snow snuggled up against the houseeverything was "just wonderful," as her friends would say. Spirits would soar, or at least appear to. That was Mothersurvival of the cheeriestand everyone was ready to suck down her holiday cure-all. We were about to welcome more than a hundred and fifty guests into our home and ignore the fact that although the invitations had been mailed out in late October with my father's name next to hers in embossed script, Old Donovan was...
To be honest, as a mother of two (now grown) sons I reacted viscerally to this novel. Make no mistake. There is no graphic sexuality here. No. What is worse is the raw, graphic emotion.
(Reviewed by Donna Chavez).
Full Review (729 words).
In 2014, the Catholic Church took heat from a United Nations committee investigating its compliance with practices outlined in the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The Convention, which establishes international standards for the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children, was ratified in 1990 and is enforced by the U.N. committee that convened in January 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland. Specifically, the committee was interested in whether or not the Holy See, the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church, has implemented its directives regarding the dispatch of priests known to have engaged in child sexual abuse.
The Church's initial response was to disclose that in 2011-2012, then-...
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Blood at the Root
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