The Resource Girl who slept with God | The girl who slept with God : a novel, Val Brelinski, (overdrive ebook)

Girl who slept with God | The girl who slept with God : a novel, Val Brelinski, (overdrive ebook)

The girl who slept with God : a novel
The girl who slept with God
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a novel
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Val Brelinski
-- --Library Journal 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 From the Hardcover edition
The girl who slept with God
When the moral-minded eldest daughter of a 1970s Idaho family returns from a missionary trip and claims she is pregnant with God's child, she and her strong-willed sister bond with fellow outcasts while awaiting the birth
  • As Oren Quanbeck realizes, the problem with living by a narrowly defined playbook is that you might not always be ready for the curveball. In the small town of Arco, Idaho, in 1970, the Harvard-educated astronomer has insisted on a strict Christian upbringing for his daughters, the teens, morally upright Grace and fun-loving Jory, and little Frances. So when Grace returns from a service trip to Mexico and announces she is pregnant with the child of God, life derails. Packing Grace and Jory off to a house on the other end of town seems like the one viable option to Oren and his depressed wife. It is only here, depending on the kindness of strangers, that the older Quanbeck girls get a peek at the larger world. Populated with vibrant, three-dimensional characters and filled with lighthearted moments, pitch-perfect dialogue, and evocative descriptions of the Idaho countryside, Brelinski’s debut is a memorable twist on the coming-of-age narrative. It is a piercing yet nuanced exploration of toxic parenting, guilt, manipulation, cowardice, and other human frailties, and the claustrophobic grip exerted by the ties that bind. -- Apte, Poornima (Reviewed 07-01-2015) (Booklist, vol 111, number 21, p30)
  • In the summer of 1970, just before her 14th birthday, Jory Quanbeck’s father deposits her, along with her sister, Grace, in a small house on the outskirts of Arco, Idaho. As Jory later attempts to explain the situation to their elderly neighbor, Mrs. Kleinfelter, “We’re having some family problems.” Those problems, viewed through Jory’s eyes, are at the center of Brelinski’s intriguing story of a close evangelical Christian family. At age 17, Grace has embraced witnessing for her faith, and she travels with other Garden of Gethsemane Church members on a mission to Mexico. But she is sent home early, pregnant with (she insists) the child of God. Without parental guidance and without Grace paying much attention, Jory makes some bad teenage choices, especially in befriending Grip, the drug-dealing ice cream truck driver, as she tries to make sense of what’s happened to Grace. In her debut novel, Brelinski makes Jory’s solitude nearly palpable and dissects the dynamics of family through Jory’s life on the fringe of society, and the result is fascinating. Agent: P.J. Mark, Janklow & Nesbit Associates. (Aug.) --Staff (Reviewed June 1, 2015) (Publishers Weekly, vol 262, issue 22, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Set in rural Idaho in 1970, Brelinski's engaging debut traces one year in the life of high school freshman and social outcast Jory Quanbeck as she struggles with her strict parents, pious elder sister Grace, carefree younger sister Frances, and everyone else in her sleepy town. That all changes when Grace becomes pregnant—she claims with the child of God—and the distraught Quanbeck parents abandon their eldest daughters, both teenagers, in a house on the outskirts of town. Brelinski delivers a heartrending portrait of the challenges of accepting and rejecting both faith and family and realizing that decisions aren't always so straightforward. In their quest for a substitute family, Jory and Grace take solace in the company of Mrs. Kleinfelter, an eccentric widow who becomes their de facto grandmother, and Grip, a young man with a troubled past who drives the local ice cream truck. The author eschews a stereotypical ending for a realistic one, expertly relaying the lingering effects of Mrs. Quanbeck's longtime battle with depression on each daughter as well as Jory's continuing search for a trusted friend. VERDICT Essential for fiction collections and sure to have YA crossover appeal as many will be able to relate to creating their own family and questioning their own faith. [See Prepub Alert, 2/9/15.]— Stephanie Sendaula, Library Journal --Stephanie Sendaula (Reviewed May 1, 2015) (Library Journal, vol 140, issue 8, p60)
  • A family of evangelical Christians is derailed by a daughter's pregnancy. In 1970, Jory, 13 going on 14, is growing up befuddled as the middle daughter of the Quanbecks, who contain their children in a religious and moral bubble as impervious as the bomb shelter in their garage. Jory's father, Oren, a Harvard-educated astronomer, runs midnight laps in the backyard of their Arco, Idaho, home, and her mother, Esther, often takes to her bed with headaches. A bland, macrobiotic, sugar-free diet is rigorously enforced. Grace, 17, eldest daughter and the pride of the family, goes off to Mexico on a church mission but soon returns home, pregnant. She insists that God is the father of her child. The Quanbecks buy an isolated farmhouse on the outskirts of town and send Grace there to wait out her gestation period, with Jory as unwilling companion. Jory is appalled by the prospect of attending the oddly named Schism High School instead of Arco Christian Academy. Not only does Schism require a whole new wardrobe—bell bottoms and T-shirts instead of long skirts and modest blouses—but a whole new lifestyle. As kindly neighbor lady Mrs. Kleinfelter and Grip, a good-hearted ice cream man with a dubious past, act as eccentric mentors, Jory manages to weather her co-exile. Since the novel is told entirely from Jory's point of view, and Grace does nothing much except stay home, the emphasis is, for some time, on vividly evoked but conventional scenes of teenage angst, as Jory worries about gym class, her first period, her popularity, an upcoming homecoming dance, etc. The action accelerates and so do the stakes when Grip introduces Grace and Jory to a hippie enclave, and Grace—very abruptly, since she has seemed so devout—embraces the counterculture. The repercussions of this for the entire Quanbeck family are dire indeed. Despite the wrenching shift in tone, a soulful exploration of the limits and consequences of familial control.(Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2015)
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Val Brelinski
Girl who slept with God | The girl who slept with God : a novel, Val Brelinski, (overdrive ebook)
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