Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Review: The Gospel of Winter by Brendan Kiely

Book: The Gospel of Winter

Author: Brendan Kiely

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderly Books

Pages: 304 Pages

Format: Hardcover

Source: Won from the IndigoTeen Twitter Page - Thank you guys!

Where to Buy: Amazon Canada, Chapters/Indigo, The Book Depository

Goodreads Summary

fearless debut novel about the restorative power of truth and love after the trauma of abuse.

As sixteen-year-old Aidan Donovan’s fractured family disintegrates around him, he searches for solace in a few bumps of Adderall, his father’s wet bar, and the attentions of his local priest, Father Greg—the only adult who actually listens to him.

When Christmas hits, Aidan’s world collapses in a crisis of trust when he recognizes the darkness of Father Greg’s affections. He turns to a crew of new friends to help make sense of his life: Josie, the girl he just might love; Sophie, who’s a little wild; and Mark, the charismatic swim team captain whose own secret agonies converge with Aidan’s.

The Gospel of Winter maps the ways love can be used as a weapon against the innocent—but can also, in the right hands, restore hope and even faith. Brendan Kiely’s unflinching and courageous debut novel exposes the damage from the secrets we keep and proves that in truth, there is power. And real love.

Just a warning for those thinking of reading this; there is a lot of adult subject matter. The Gospel of Winter deals with the aftermath of a manipulative and somewhat sexual relationship between a teenage boy and a Priest. This story talks in great detail about his coping methods, which include the use of drugs and alcohol. Please be warned when reading this book.

The Gospel of Winter is not a story to be taken lightly. It contains subject matter that is not pretty and is not to be joked about. And I'm going to be honest when I say that Brendan Kiely did an absolutely fantastic job of telling Aiden's story. He doesn't make it too gruesome, and instead focuses on the intense psychological journey that Aiden has had to endure.

The thing that struck me about The Gospel of Winter was that it was so beautifully written. It was such simple writing, and the simplicity was what really got to me. The idea that someone, even a character, could speak about these events like it was just another Tuesday blew my mind away. Brendan Kiely, if nothing else, is an incredible writer. 

The simplistic nature of this extremely complicated story made me fall in love with the writing style, but I still cannot say that I loved this book without feeling like I am saying that I loved the subject matter. So I will say that I really enjoyed this book and that I appreciate and congratulate Brendan Kiely for communicating this story in such a beautiful way.

4.5/5 Stars. An incredible debut.


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