The Gospel of Winter

Brendan Kiely, Author
Brendan Kiely. S&S/McElderry, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4424-8489-4
Reviewed on: 10/21/2013
Release date: 01/21/2014
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4424-8491-7
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-4424-8490-0
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Kiely’s impressive debut takes a controversial topic—sexual abuse in the Catholic Church—and addresses it head-on with sensitivity and finesse. Sixteen-year-old social outcast Aidan Donovan is from a privileged but broken family. While his philandering father has decamped to Europe and his mother is planning her latest high-society bash in their suburban Connecticut neighborhood, Aidan is busy snorting Adderall and getting wasted with a trio of new friends. Aidan’s discontent builds to a masterfully disquieting roar as he buckles under the weight of the secret he no longer wants to keep, but is too afraid to tell: that he was repeatedly abused by a priest he had grown to love and trust. Setting his story against the shaky aftermath of 9/11 and the scandals that surfaced in the Boston archdiocese in early 2002, Kiely hits his mark with a sickening portrayal of Father Greg and those who let his behavior continue. But it’s the combination of Aidan’s vulnerability, denial, and silent rage that makes the novel so distressingly vivid and real. Ages 14–up. Agent: Rob Weisbach, Rob Weisbach Creative Management. (Jan.)
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