The Girl Who Slept with God A Novel review Ä eBook or Kindle ePUB


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The Girl Who Slept with God A Novel

E edge of the town There they prepare for the much awaited arrival of the baby while building a makeshift family that includes an elderly eccentric neighbor and a tattooed social outcast who drives an ice cream truck The Girl Who Slept with God is a literary achievement about a family’s desperate need for truth love purity and redempti This is why i read Because sometimes some sweet delicious times a book like this falls in your lap and you never want it to end but you can’t put it down because you are learning and loving it so that it ends the next day The folks on the plane think you’re unhinged as you laugh out loud they turn the volume up on their tiny headsets hoping they’re sending you a polite message but no ten pages later you’re crying sobbing wiping your nose on your sleeve because you know that we know now what causes that disease and could have easily saved that childEvery character is believable and whole foolish selfish brave authentic I am going to stop now because everyone should read this especially parents and those who might want to parent I worry that Ms Brelinski’s next novel might not be as perfect; as this is her story Effectively she wrote what she knewExcept the perfume weren’t our moms all wearing Chanel No 5?

review Ë eBook or Kindle ePUB Õ Val Brelinski

Ence professor at the local college Yet their mother’s depression and Grace’s religious fervor threaten the seemingly perfect family whose world is upended when Grace returns from a missionary trip to Mexico and discovers she’s pregnant with she believes the child of GodDistraught Oren sends Jory and Grace to an isolated home at th NOTE I won this book in a GR Giveaway in return for an honest reviewFirst the goodThis is an easy reading story with a likeable character There's enough mystery to keep one reading and interestedNow for the badThis is a YA book in hiding The scenes and dialogues are Jr High and are mundane boring and nothing to do with the larger storyline The family in this book is nuts The actions of the parents are bizarre There's the usual drugs boozebut what does one expect when one leaves one's teenage daughters to fend for themselves; where they could for the first time ever make their own decisions but without the proper guidance? The ending was unsatisfactory

Val Brelinski Õ 3 read & download

An entrancing debut about two sisters exiled by their parents when the eldest becomes pregnantSet in Arco Idaho in 1970 Val Brelinski’s powerfully affecting first novel tells the story of three sisters young Frances gregarious and strong willed Jory and moral minded Grace Their father Oren is a respected member of the community and sci That striking title sets the scene for an out of the ordinary coming of age novel set in a fundamentalist Christian family in Arco Idaho in 1970 The uanbecks renounce dancing movies alcohol and everything else that represents regular teenage life for thirteen year old Jory She and her sisters are sheltered from the world within their church and Christian school That sense of being set apart only grows stronger when seventeen year old Grace comes back pregnant from a short mission trip to Mexico Grace swears it was an immaculate conception and she like Mary has been entrusted with carrying God’s child Is she telling the truth is she repressing a traumatic event or is she mentally ill? Val Brelinski keeps that uestion largely open throughout her strong debut novelGrace’s actions will have a lasting effect on Jory The girls’ parents – their father a Harvard educated astronomer and their mother a virtual shut in who relies on prescription anxiety pills – decide that Grace will live away from them and the community and Jory will keep her company Dr uanbeck buys a small house next door to Hilda Kleinfelter and withdraws both girls from school so word can’t get around Jory will attend secular Schism High where she gets an education in teenage socialization that includes the Homecoming dance liuor and an accidental LSD trip Hilda becomes a sort of surrogate grandmother to the girls and Grip a deadbeat ice cream van driver in his twenties is their new best friendBrelinski is sensitive to the ways in which religion and romantic infatuation influence her characters’ choices and even when things get a little bit uncomfortable – like when Grip and Jory steal a kiss – the plot feels true to life The choice of close third person narration from Jory’s perspective rather than first person thankfully keeps the book from resembling a teen diary This is the best of both worlds we get Jory’s thoughts but in sophisticated literary language The novel also blends biblical metaphors and Dr uanbeck’s astronomical vocabulary to good effect as in this lovely passage near the endThe universe had opened up and revealed its own perfectly blank face to Jory’s own returning her gaze with a flattened emptiness that stretched on and on and on—a world so wide and featureless and open so dark and formless that light never pierced it no sun no moon no stars And it now seemed entirely possible that two girls could stumble mutely on across the face of it forever seeking a home and a resting place and finding noneIn a book full of memorable characters I found Grace and Dr uanbeck to be the most compelling ones mostly for how logic and superstition collide in their thinking Like the father in A Song for Issy Bradley by Carys Bray one of my favorite novels from last year Dr uanbeck could almost seem like the villain here for the choices he imposes on his family but the picture of him is nuanced so that you can see how desperately he loves his family and wants to protect them from worldly painAlong with Issy Bradley set in Britain’s Mormon community the novel reminded me most of We Sinners by Hanna Pylväinen another picture of family life under strict religious guidelines and How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer a love story with astronomical overtones Much as I liked it I did think Brelinski’s novel was about a uarter too long; both the middle section – where Jory is negotiating her newfound freedom – and the dénouement felt drawn out It would be interesting to see Brelinski’s talent for characterization and scene setting applied to short stories or a much shorter novel I also thought the initial decision to set the two girls up in their own home felt slightly far fetchedAll the same I appreciated this balanced picture of family life The uanbecks are never just oddities or your stereotypical dysfunctional family but as idealistic and messed up as all the rest of us As Mrs Kleinfelter puts it “Most families are pretty much the same I think Good and bad mixed together in a small bag Or a small house” I received early access to this book through the Penguin First to Read programOriginally published with images at my blog Bookish Beck

  • Hardcover
  • 369
  • The Girl Who Slept with God A Novel
  • Val Brelinski
  • English
  • 11 October 2019
  • 9780525427421

About the Author: Val Brelinski

Val Brelinski Who Slept MOBI ô was born and raised in Nampa Idaho the daughter of devout evangelical Christians She is a recent Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford where she was also a Jones Lecturer in fiction writing She received an MFA from the University of Virginia and her writing has been published in such magazines as VR and The Rumpus Fiction Confrontation and Green Mountains Review She received.



10 thoughts on “The Girl Who Slept with God A Novel

  1. says:

    The story centers around a super religious family named the Duggarrs the uanbeck's The oldest daughter Grace gets to go on a mission trip to Mexico When she returns she carries with her a little something extra from her trip Grace is pregnant She swears that an Angel came to her and that she is carrying a holy child This family is the type of family that an unwed mother is just not going to fly What will the neighbors think?There was to be no mixed bathing no circuses or bowling alleys or pool halls no card playing except Uno no dancing or movie watching no make up or pierced ears or flashy jewelry or immodest dress of any kind Men were to have short hair and women long and Joy was spelled Jesus and Others and then You The mother of the family just can't deal with any of it so she completely shuts herself into her bedroom with a washcloth over her face her normal behavior and dad decides on what is best for the family What is decided is that pregnant Grace and her 13 year old sister Jory will be moved out to a remote farmhouse and that is where they will stayThe story is told from Jory's point of view Sheltered her entire life from the heathen world Jory now has to go to the local highschool instead of the religious school that she has been going to all her life It's 1970 so culture shock sets in Jory makes friends with the elderly woman who lives next door and a man that drives the ice cream truck The only other person that the girls are allowed to have visit is their father when he brings them necessary supplies Grace begins to become even devout and Jory tries and point out the differences to her father but he turns a blind eye to them Fasting when she is pregnant shaving her hair off her head It's all to get her closer to her faithJory is a typical teenager who is slung into a whole new world so she begins to experiment with things that she has never had access to before Who can blame her? She has little supervision I'm surprised that she didn't get into much worse Her character does read as very real and I became attached to her voice in this bookYou see disaster coming but you hold your breath and hope for the bestThe next song is dedicated to a girl named Jory he said who's learning about life the way we all do the hard way Booksource Netgalley in exchange for review None of the people on my friends list had reviewed this book so I'm again picking a review that I like to showcase It's found here

  2. says:

    35 starsI take exception to the part in the description of this book that calls this a seemingly perfect family This family seemed to me anything but perfect from page one I have recently read some books about dysfunctional families with uestionable parenting Among them The Children's Crusade and Everything I Never Told You This is right up there with them in depicting the damage that parents can do to their children The beliefs and lifestyle of this fundamentalist Christian family are at the forefront when the eldest child Grace who is 17 and herself a religious fanatic comes home from a mission to Mexico proclaiming her pregnancy is the work of God Her younger sister 13 year old Jory is exiled with her to a house away from the small town in Idaho where the family lives to keep people in the town and their church from knowing of the disgrace to make things easier for their depressed mother who spends her days in bed Without parental guidance and in this case maybe a good thing Jory begins her education of what life is like outside of the sheltered controlled life she led She makes some unwise decisions in this 1970 world but gets to know friendship and the kindness of an elderly neighbor This has a YA feeling to it with Jory's perspective but there are tough adult themes here This is about a family in crisis about depression religious fanaticism It's not just sad it's tragic but it's also thought provokingThe author has done a great job in depicting the time and although I have no experience with the religious fervor here I read that the author grew up in an evangelist Christian home so I suspect that she knows what she writes about The ending was probably meant to reflect redemption and hope but even love didn't make me feel any better about the ending and I was heartbroken about Grace and for Jory and their younger sister Frances For me it was an unsatisfying ending so it will stay 35 stars for me Thank you to PENGUIN GROUP Viking and NetGalley

  3. says:

    That striking title sets the scene for an out of the ordinary coming of age novel set in a fundamentalist Christian family in Arco Idaho in 1970 The uanbecks renounce dancing movies alcohol and everything else that represents regular teenage life for thirteen year old Jory She and her sisters are sheltered from the world within their church and Christian school That sense of being set apart only grows stronger when seventeen year old Grace comes back pregnant from a short mission trip to Mexico Grace swears it was an immaculate conception and she like Mary has been entrusted with carrying God’s child Is she telling the truth is she repressing a traumatic event or is she mentally ill? Val Brelinski keeps that uestion largely open throughout her strong debut novelGrace’s actions will have a lasting effect on Jory The girls’ parents – their father a Harvard educated astronomer and their mother a virtual shut in who relies on prescription anxiety pills – decide that Grace will live away from them and the community and Jory will keep her company Dr uanbeck buys a small house next door to Hilda Kleinfelter and withdraws both girls from school so word can’t get around Jory will attend secular Schism High where she gets an education in teenage socialization that includes the Homecoming dance liuor and an accidental LSD trip Hilda becomes a sort of surrogate grandmother to the girls and Grip a deadbeat ice cream van driver in his twenties is their new best friendBrelinski is sensitive to the ways in which religion and romantic infatuation influence her characters’ choices and even when things get a little bit uncomfortable – like when Grip and Jory steal a kiss – the plot feels true to life The choice of close third person narration from Jory’s perspective rather than first person thankfully keeps the book from resembling a teen diary This is the best of both worlds we get Jory’s thoughts but in sophisticated literary language The novel also blends biblical metaphors and Dr uanbeck’s astronomical vocabulary to good effect as in this lovely passage near the endThe universe had opened up and revealed its own perfectly blank face to Jory’s own returning her gaze with a flattened emptiness that stretched on and on and on—a world so wide and featureless and open so dark and formless that light never pierced it no sun no moon no stars And it now seemed entirely possible that two girls could stumble mutely on across the face of it forever seeking a home and a resting place and finding noneIn a book full of memorable characters I found Grace and Dr uanbeck to be the most compelling ones mostly for how logic and superstition collide in their thinking Like the father in A Song for Issy Bradley by Carys Bray one of my favorite novels from last year Dr uanbeck could almost seem like the villain here for the choices he imposes on his family but the picture of him is nuanced so that you can see how desperately he loves his family and wants to protect them from worldly painAlong with Issy Bradley set in Britain’s Mormon community the novel reminded me most of We Sinners by Hanna Pylväinen another picture of family life under strict religious guidelines and How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer a love story with astronomical overtones Much as I liked it I did think Brelinski’s novel was about a uarter too long; both the middle section – where Jory is negotiating her newfound freedom – and the dénouement felt drawn out It would be interesting to see Brelinski’s talent for characterization and scene setting applied to short stories or a much shorter novel I also thought the initial decision to set the two girls up in their own home felt slightly far fetchedAll the same I appreciated this balanced picture of family life The uanbecks are never just oddities or your stereotypical dysfunctional family but as idealistic and messed up as all the rest of us As Mrs Kleinfelter puts it “Most families are pretty much the same I think Good and bad mixed together in a small bag Or a small house” I received early access to this book through the Penguin First to Read programOriginally published with images at my blog Bookish Beck

  4. says:

    Much has already been written about the plot and characters of this book a fundamentalist Christian family in 1970s IdahoDad is an astronomy professor at a small Christian college; Mom withdraws to her bedroom to nurse her freuent headachesdepression Oldest daughter Grace is zealously pursuing a missionary calling while seeking to outdo her parents as a model Christian Middle daughter Jory turns 14 and finds herself forced into public school against her will but soon comes to like it Youngest daughter Frances just wants someone to pay attention to her Despite 17 year old Grace being the center of most of the drama the story is told from Jory's perspectiveGrace comes back from her mission trip to Mexico pregnant and sanctimoniously claims to be with child by the Holy Spirit The parents are so worried about what people will say that Grace and Jory are sent to live alone in a run down house on the outskirts of town Hence why Jory can no longer attend her Christian school and must switch to public school where no one will know who she is I was astounded that the parents were attuned to gossip mongers than the needs of their own children Someone should have called social services when those girls were sent into exileBut then much of this book hit a nerve with me I am all too familiar with the ultra conservative Christian enclave No dancing no rock music no pierced ears no pants just knee length culottes I sat in those mid week church services I recognized many of the characters I identified with much of Jory's confusion both the religious aspects as well as the plain old puberty part Even the descriptions of 1970s fashion stirred up dormant memories Spoiler alert There is an aspect of the ending that makes me wonder The title suggested it to me nevertheless I could be totally off base A repeated theme was that you can never truly know another person Grip the ice cream guy told Jory after Grace's suicide that their Dad hurt Grace The observation was also made by Jory or Grip or both that Dad was like a god within his family This made me wonder if Grace's pregnancy was the result of incest Grace never identified the father or even admitted to having sex Unlike Jory and Frances Grace did not share a bedroom with a sibling Mom was distant and off in her own world turning a blind eye denial? to the affairs of the household Dad was worried about news of the pregnancy becoming public and also uite intent that the baby be put up for adoption In fact his insistence on this point was the last straw for Grace He even talked about what color the baby would be While a sign of racism it could also be anxiety that the baby might look like him Grace's need to be righteous than anyone else may be her way of compensating for repeated violations Her desire to go to the foreign mission field — a way of escape that no one could argue against When Grace gave her mission trip report to the church it was Dad who pulled her off the stage when she started drifting into being the handmaid of the Lord Dad who constantly tried to control the details of each family member's life Then again perhaps I'm needlessly making Dad into a villain; maybe Grace was truly mentally ill and Dad simply didn't know how best to deal with her delusionsOverall it was a great book I was totally engrossed in it to the neglect of my other responsibilities The scenes and the characters continued to linger long in my mind after finishing PS I kept waiting for Dad to have a run in with Jory's Earth Sciences teacher The teacher said the earth was billions of years old I would expect Dad to hold to a young earth creationist view That clash didn't come Perhaps because Dad had weightier matters to deal with

  5. says:

    I loved this book and the people that live within it Brelinkski knows first hand about religious fervor and does a spectacular job relating how hard it is to fit in to the mainstream when your family's values are so narrow Having been raised this same way I easily related to Jory I WAS Jory in high school This is the type of book you can't wait to go back to and it's the perfect end of summer read that will have you spellbound

  6. says:

    NOTE I won this book in a GR Giveaway in return for an honest reviewFirst the goodThis is an easy reading story with a likeable character There's enough mystery to keep one reading and interestedNow for the badThis is a YA book in hiding The scenes and dialogues are Jr High and are mundane boring and nothing to do with the larger storyline The family in this book is nuts The actions of the parents are bizarre There's the usual drugs boozebut what does one expect when one leaves one's teenage daughters to fend for themselves; where they could for the first time ever make their own decisions but without the proper guidance? The ending was unsatisfactory

  7. says:

    This is why i read Because sometimes some sweet delicious times a book like this falls in your lap and you never want it to end but you can’t put it down because you are learning and loving it so that it ends the next day The folks on the plane think you’re unhinged as you laugh out loud they turn the volume up on their tiny headsets hoping they’re sending you a polite message but no ten pages later you’re crying sobbing wiping your nose on your sleeve because you know that we know now what causes that disease and could have easily saved that childEvery character is believable and whole foolish selfish brave authentic I am going to stop now because everyone should read this especially parents and those who might want to parent I worry that Ms Brelinski’s next novel might not be as perfect; as this is her story Effectively she wrote what she knewExcept the perfume weren’t our moms all wearing Chanel No 5?

  8. says:

    The Girl Who Slept with God is beautiful story about the uanbecks a Christian family torn apart when Grace the eldest daughter returns from a missionary trip to Mexico impregnated by an “angel” The father an astronomer at the local college decides the best thing to do is send 17 year old Grace and her 14 year old sister Jory to live alone on a farm with an elderly neighbor looking in on them while he stays at home with his youngest daughter and his tranuilizer taking wife to keep up appearances in their religious community The relationships between the characters are excellently portrayed particularly that of Grace and Jory theirs is a strong uniue and oftentimes conflicted bond Adding to this family drama is the time period the 70s the world outside the protected home of the uanbeck’s which reaches the sisters in their secluded farmhouse I loved this book The characters with all of their flaws are all too human and Val Brelinski writes so beautifully you accept them

  9. says:

    I won this through the First Reads giveawayThis was a very good book better than I anticipated The characters are complex and believable For example I think Grip would usually be written up as straight up creepy but he wasn't You were kind of attracted to his character like Jory was The novel did a good job at making me understand even if I didn't approve what the father did It was also successful at portraying what it's like to have a depressed motherI also really liked how food and music were used There was nothing unusual about the food but those scenes were ones where Jory and Grace shared memories and were very sister likeI guess since it's set in the 70's some things concerning race fit but also seemed a little negligent There was a part at the beginning of the last chapter where Jory and her father were leaving a greyhound station Why were they at the greyhound station? Those are my only two criticisms

  10. says:

    Written with beautiful imagery this book is a haunting portrayal of one family's struggle with religion faith and tragedy

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