Book Review: Stained

Stained by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

SUMMARY: Jocelyn has two boys in her life. And a priest. Gabe has shared fourteen years of growing up next door. He's "a golden boy, an all-star." Yet now, in the spring of 1975, he's missing. Benny has only been in New Hampshire since January, yet for Joss, he's the answer to a long-held prayer. She loves them both. Father Warren is a link between the three of them. Or a wedge. Or a threat. In a story shot with suspense, these four characters, and the lives of others they've touched in their small town, intermingle with unforgettable force. (adapted from the inside flap)

OPINION: I knew from the first page of this book that it involved priest sex abuse. I mean, it's a huge topic in the news, so any story with a priest is suspect. But this book is character-driven, not issue-driven. You will be instantly engaged in the story through the interactions of Joss, Gabe, and Benny. And Father Warren is truely twisted, though not in ways you might expect. This book moves back and forth between the past and the present, making its way to a stunning conclusion that sets Joss's "stained soul" straight once and for all. The writing in this book is beautiful; the last few pages are particularly amazing.

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