In the tradition of Jodi Picoult--a fresh, smart, and deeply moving novel about the power of faith, love, and family
Thirteen-year-old Nic Delano has a lot of questions. Like why does he have a babysitter at his age-and where did she get such long legs? But mostly, what exactly is the meaning of life?
His mother, Lucy, an astrophysicist and atheist, has always encouraged Nic to ask questions. But lately she doesn't like the answers he's getting. Nic has been hanging out with a group of devout Christians and is starting to embrace the Bible--and a very different view of the heavens.
But when unexpected tragedy strikes, Nic and Lucy's beliefs are truly to put to the test. And they need each other now more than ever. But will a mother and her son be able to find a common ground where faith meets understanding and love is, ultimately, what endures?
The overpublished religion vs. atheism debate takes a refreshing turn here. In an understated way, Killham (How to Cook a Tart) takes a modest run at the great questions: does God exist? if so, where is he when people get ill or get mugged? These are the matters chewed on by 13-year-old narrator Nic (as in Nicolaus Copernicus) Delano, whose astrophysicist mother, Lucy, is an atheist who believes in nature. Nic's teen hormones make his curiosity more than intellectual, and he's as interested in girls as he is in the Bible, a suitably rebellious topic for an atheist's kid. Nic is attracted to things about the Bible-believing Christian lifestyle: for one thing, his friend's mom bakes cookies. But many things forge the ties that bind. Minor characters could be more memorably drawn, and the interfaith range of beliefs (the Muslim babysitter, the Jewish relatives) is more convenient than convincing. But for those who prefer stories of love, faith and pain to a theological argument about them, this is a sweet, engaging read. (Jan.)
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January 26, 2009
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