Brelinski, Val. The Girl Who Slept with God. Viking Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, 2015. $28.95. 368 pages. ISBN 9780525427421. Ages 16+. P8 Q8
It is 1970 when the story begins, and Jory is almost fourteen. As the daughter of a strict evangelical Christian family, she is under much more pressure than her peers. However, when her righteous elder sister becomes pregnant on a short-term mission trip to Mexico—allegedly by God, Jory’s life becomes thorny far beyond the typical high school spectacle. Brelinski, who grew up in Idaho as the daughter of evangelical Christians, crafts convincing and nuanced characters. Each person in the story is fallible—honorable intentions harmonize with stubbornness and retaliation to create a credible narrative. The Girl Who Slept with God is a successful examination of familial relationships and how they influence our connection to the world. It questions blind faith, recognizes a unique feminine strength, and encourages the kind of humility that prevents the most tragic consequences.
January 2016 review by Lillian Curanzy.