cover image Cradle and All

Cradle and All

James Patterson, read by Rebecca Soler and Edoardo Ballerini. Hachette Audio, , unabridged, 6 CDs, 7.5 hrs., $25 ISBN 978-1-4789-1239-2

This updated YA adaptation of Patterson’s 2000 thriller is built on a powerful premise: two pregnant teens, Kathleen of Newport, R.I., and Colleen of Maam Cross, Ireland, are medically confirmed to be virgins. This and further otherworldly occurrences (plagues, droughts) seem to conform to a prophecy given by the Blessed Mother Mary at her 1917 apparition in Fatima, Portugal, that two virgin births would occur, one the Son of God, the other the son of Satan. The Roman Catholic Church assigns Fathers Rosetti and O’Carroll to authenticate the medical claims, while a Boston cardinal hires private detective Anne Fitzgerald. Anne, the novel’s protagonist, is a former nun who gave up the calling because of feelings she had for Father O’Carroll. Her chapters, first-person accounts, are narrated by Soler, an actress who, though her Boston accent is acceptable, sounds a bit too young and too sweet for a practicing PI, even one who’d formerly carried a rosary instead of a gun. Reader Ballerini handles the objective, third-person chapters, which follow the grueling progress of Father Rosetti, whose Italian accent thickens during his many moments of extreme stress in encounters with a deep-voiced Satanic figure. Age 15–up. (Sept.)