The Girl Who Slept With God
by Val Brelinski
Published August 2015
Genres: Fiction / Literary
“Jory took a shaky breath. She suddenly saw that this moment weighed as much as all the previous ones combined. That all the other mental skirmishes had been small change, child’s play. Here, now, was her very own unexpected expected. For one small suspended second in time, she still had the ability to do or not do something, that once done she would then never be able to undo.”
Our story centres around Jory, the middle daughter of the Quanbecks, a family of devoted Christians with strict boundaries and strange routines. Jory is not as devout as her older sister Grace, and not as innocent as her younger sister Frances. Her life is turned on its head when her father sends Jory and Grace to live alone on an isolated farm, after Grace returns pregnant from a Christian mission to Mexico. Grace claims that the baby is God’s, but no one believes her. This upheaval leads to Jory and Grace welcoming some new characters into their lives – the kindly old Mrs Kleinfelter who shares the farm property with the girls, the mysterious, scruffy yet friendly Grip who drives an ice-cream van but doesn’t seem to sell much ice-cream, the brash kids at Jory’s new rough school. All of these people will leave their impressions on the sisters – some for better and some for worse. But how will they cope with living apart from their family, without the familiar people and places that they know, while staying true to their faith? And is Grace’s baby really God’s?
I loved this book SO MUCH. There’s a lot to say about it, I don’t know where to begin and I don’t think I’m going to do it justice.
Val Brelinski has managed to cram so many emotions and issues into this one book, it kept me intrigued and wanting to keep reading. I adored most of the characters and felt genuinely invested in them, her character development is great. There were many relationship strands between characters but not so many that it felt overwhelming, just believable.
The main character, Jory, is exposed to things that are new to her because of her sheltered, religious upbringing, and because of her pubescent age, some things of which she has never even heard of before. She’s naive, but she’s curious, and she lets her heart lead the way (which gets her into trouble a lot). Growing up, or maybe self-development, is a major theme of this book.
There is also loads of family drama, including one scene of an all-in family fight which felt so real that I could found myself tensing up.
The question of religion and faith is a running theme throughout the book, and this would especially appeal to people with religious upbringings who could relate to this exploration.
There were times when I gasped, times when I laughed, and times when I was on the verge of tears. I really felt like this book had something for everyone, and for every mood. It didn’t lean too far in any one direction, it felt completely balanced, and natural, and beautiful.
As suspected, my review effort has been pretty lame in communicating just how wonderful this book is, so all that’s left to say is – read this book. It will be a great investment of your time, I know you’ll love it.
Did not like it – It was ok – Liked it – Really liked it – It was amazing
Linking up with The Weekend Rewind at Life, Love & Hiccups